More info i
Credit: Marvel Studios/Disney

A minor league baseball team in Alabama has named itself the Rocket City Trash Pandas

Contributed by
Sep 11, 2018, 3:14 PM EDT

A brand-new minor league baseball team in Madison, Alabama has decided upon the name of "The Rocket City Trash Pandas," reported local news station WHNT News 19. The announcement was made last week at the Rocket Republic Brewing Company in Madison, where Matthew Higley, the man behind the team name, was interviewed. 

"I wasn't thinking of Guardians of the Galaxy when I named the team," Higley said, while wearing a Davy Crockett-esque coonskin cap for the occasion. "But I have seen the movie, and I love the movie. I was just thinking of animals local to the area."

The term "trash panda" is mentioned by Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ,after the team crash-lands on the forest planet of Berhert. Quill gets in a fight with Rocket Raccoon (Bradley Cooper) upon discovering that Rocket stole Anulax Batteries from the Sovereign, causing the genetically-enhanced race of golden-skinned aliens to try and kill them. 

Peter calls Rocket a "stupid raccoon," but then attempts to smooth things over by saying he took things too far. "I meant trash panda." A confused Rocket looks to his teammates and asks, "Is that better?" A smiling Quill responds, "It's worse. It's so much worse." 

Getting to name the Alabama team was part of a contest that almost resulted in titles like ThunderSharks, Moon Possums, Space Chimps, and Comet Jockeys.

On his submission form, Higley made an overt Guardians reference when he wrote:

“Our community is known for engineering, and no creature in our galaxy is as smart, creative, determined and ingenious a problem solver - dedicated to the challenge at hand - as our local raccoons!”

Madison's nickname of "Rocket City" fits in perfectly with the Marvel reference, but actually refers to the town's history of rocket development and space launches in the late '50s and early '60s.