The co-owner of major league baseball’s Colorado Rockies has heard the call:
Ha-ha. Batter up. Ha-ha.
It sounds like a well-loved ballpark on a busy day. Or a seagull. Or, in Charlie Monfort’s case, maybe a little of both.
Speaking at the Crimson Club on the University of Utah campus in support of a new Name, Image and Likeness collective on Friday, Monfort expressed his desire to see the MLB bring a team to Salt Lake City. Last week, a coalition headed by the Miller family and Larry H. Miller Co. launched a bid aimed at doing just that.
“I would love nothing more than to see another team here in Salt Lake City,” Monfort said. “It’s a baseball town.”
Monfort graduated from the U. in 1982 and said he used to enjoy attending games at Derks Field. The team that played there at that time was a Triple-A squad called The Salt Lake Gulls. Monfort likes that name for the new MLB club as well. He noted that in addition to their history as a team moniker, the gulls hold even more significance to the valley. As the legend goes, settlers in 1848 whose crops had been plagued by hungry crickets were saved from starvation when flocks of the birds descended into the fields and devoured the insects. It was that act that prompted lawmakers to name the California gull the Utah state bird in 1955.
“Salt Lake City Skyscrapers? I don’t know about that name,” Monfort said, recalling the moniker of Salt Lake’s first pro baseball team, which was formed in 1911. “I like to stay with the Gulls because gulls are tough. And without the gulls, I don’t think this valley survives.”
Still, Monfort said he’d throw his support behind the effort even if the gulls name doesn’t fly.
“I’m going to do my part on the inside,” he said. “It’s a baseball town, so hopefully it does happen.”