HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Matt Stembridge had an idea in mind for the Hannibal Prospect League baseball team's new mascot.
The franchise's general manager just couldn't find something unique.
"We really wanted a creature from the beginning," Stembridge said. "We would have loved to use something with the bats, but there's so many teams in professional and amateur sports that utilize the bats. So we started looking for any kind of bird."
A member of the Hannibal community gave Stembridge the name they struggled to create. The name became official Wednesday.
Stembridge announced the name of the franchise -- the Hannibal Hoots -- which officially gives the club an identity for the upcoming Prospect League season this summer.
The name came from the contest the franchise conducted which allowed the Hannibal community to rename the franchise.
"We saw Hoots, and there was an alliteration to it that worked," Stembridge said. "We wanted to keep the black and yellow. The only problem we had was, ‘How do we make an owl look imposing and fierce?'
"We just needed a good look for it and hopefully it's something the community will like."
The logos for the franchise were unveiled, and it shows an owl in yellow and black coloring.
The other four finalists for the team name were Huckle-Bears, Hucks, Steamers and Lumber Barons. Stembridge said more than 350 names were originally submitted during the initial phase of the naming contest in October.
The Hoots also announced the hiring of Clayton Hicks as the team's manager for the upcoming season. Hicks is an assistant coach on the Danville Area Community College baseball team.
Hicks is a former pitcher who played two seasons at DACC before transferring to Quincy University, where he graduated in 2013. He worked with Stembridge while playing for the Hawks. Hicks also played for the Gateway Grizzlies in the Frontier League before joining the coaching ranks.
"We had a really good working relationship while we were at QU," Stembridge said. "He wanted to get into coaching, and he's been coaching at Danville. I've kept in contact with him throughout the years."