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How and why D-backs got their team name

Did you know Arizona was almost the Scorpions?
@SteveGilbertMLB
December 21, 2020

PHOENIX -- When it came time to pick a name for the expansion team that would play its home games in Phoenix, one thing was clear: Arizona was going to be in the name. That was important to then-managing general partner Jerry Colangelo, who wanted to make sure that the

PHOENIX -- When it came time to pick a name for the expansion team that would play its home games in Phoenix, one thing was clear: Arizona was going to be in the name.

That was important to then-managing general partner Jerry Colangelo, who wanted to make sure that the organization represented all of Arizona and not just the Phoenix metro area.

As for what the nickname would be, well, that was not as easy a decision.

The organization held a public contest to allow fans to submit their suggestions, and then it whittled that list down to five names: Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Phoenix, Rattlers and Scorpions.

The same local design firm -- headed by Greg Fisher -- that came up with the NBA's Phoenix Suns logo was asked to submit logos for all five.

“They were on these big cards, and we put them up on the walls of Jerry’s office and started discussing them,” said Rich Dozer, who was the team’s first president. “We were going back and forth and we had it down to Diamondbacks or Scorpions and I said, ‘Let’s vote! Secret ballot.’ Jerry thought that was a good idea, but he said he was not voting because in the end he had the ultimate vote.”

The vote came back overwhelmingly in favor of Scorpions.

“It was like 12-1, because the Scorpion logo was so good-looking,” Dozer remembered. “It was sharp. After everyone else had gone Jerry looked at me and said, ‘I’m going to make the final decision. I just don’t know if I can have a Scorpion as a logo. They give me the willies.’ He loved -- and we all did -- the play off the baseball diamond and having the team called Diamondbacks. He called me a couple of days later and said he couldn’t do Scorpions, we were going with Diamondbacks.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.