I have my wallet at the ready just in case I mess this one up.
The Sacramento River Cats — the Oakland A’s Triple-A affiliate in the Pacific Coast League — want to make sure everyone gets their name correct, and they’ve come up with quite the creative way to ensure that happens.
In a media release sent out this week, the River Cats have announced they will fine all members of the media, their own staff, and even season tickets holders, $1 for incorrectly spelling or misrepresenting the River Cats name.
That's right, one whole dollar, and there will be very few exceptions in which a mistake will be tolerated.
WEST, SACRAMENTO, Calif. — You’ve been warned: the moniker “River Cats” is comprised of two words, with a capital “R” and a capital “C.” Effective immediately, all members of the local and national media, River Cats corporate partners, full-or-part time River Cats staff, and season, flex, and mini-plan ticket holders will be fined $1 for spellings “River Cats” incorrectly.”
All money collected will go to the River Cats Foundation, which has contributed more than $1.5 million in cash and $16.2 million in in-kind donations to the greater Sacramento community since 2002.
The Sacramento Rivers Cats franchise is one of the most well-known teams in professional baseball, in spite of the relative obscurity of river cats themselves (apologies to Dinger). However, even after 11 division championships, four PCL championships, and two Triple-A National Championships, the name is consistently misrepresented at the local and national level.
For clarification, the following are incorrect iterations of the name “River Cats,” and therefore subject to the $1 fine:
• river cats
• River cats
Twitter mentions, text messages, and handwritten notes are the lone exceptions to this mandate, intra- and interoffice emails correspondences to and from River Cats staff are subject to the fine, as are television graphics, print media references and Facebook posts.
Any questions or complaints regarding this new policy can be directed to the River Cats media relations department.
Here’s the problem many people already have with the River Cats new policy. Their own logo — which you can see above — doesn’t include a clear space between the words “River“ and “Cats.” A closer look clearly shows the words are separate, but perception becomes reality. We write what we see, because that visual is what becomes ingrained into our minds, so naturally you‘ll end up with anything other than “River Cats“
Just last weekend I was writing about the Charleston RiverDogs. Nearly identical name. No clear space in the logo. No actual space in the name. What you see is how you write it, which keeps it nice and simple for everybody.
Of course the good news (and really the only important news) here is the River Cats will be donating all fines collected to charitable causes supported by their own foundation. In that case, I guess they’re not exactly discouraging misspellings and misrepresentations. And if they are, they shouldn’t be, because this has the chance to profitable if they have a little fun with it.