Altoona Fish would have been a funny name. For about 10 minutes. Then it would have been hokey and borderline embarrassing for the city and franchise.
Ridge Runners? No way.
Coasters? Eh. Interesting but not overly exciting.
As it turned out, the local franchise stumbled upon the perfect name with Altoona Curve, a double entendre representing the famous local landmark, the Horseshoe Curve, and a baseball tie-in, plus it rolls effortlessly off the tongue.
Had team owner Bob Lozinak not stepped in and made the final decision, however, the name of the franchise very well may have been the Altoona Lake Monsters.
The franchise paid homage to that what-might-have-been scenario during "What if Wednesday" at Peoples Natural Gas Field. The gimmick of renaming the team the Lake Monsters for one evening fit right in with the quirky greatness of minor league baseball.
The club wore teal jerseys with the words "Lake Monsters" on the front - along with fins coming off the letters - and on the sleeves was a fish with a baseball inside its open mouth and holding a bat.
"I'm looking at that new logo tonight, and it's pretty intimidating," Tobi Rispoli of Altoona said with a smile.
Rispoli is credited with coming up with the name Lake Monsters during the name-the-team contest back in 1998, and she even submitted a logo with her entry. She drew her inspiration from attending Lakemont Elementary School - where the Lake Monster was the unofficial mascot - and since the ballpark is in Lakemont, that name seemed like a logical choice.
"I am still on a high to think the lovable Lake Monster is still thought of two decades later," Rispoli said after throwing out a ceremonial first pitch Wednesday.
All references to the baseball team were as the Lake Monsters, and instead of calling it the usual Curve, Pa., the ballpark area was renamed Lake Monster, Pa. Sandwiches at the concession stands were even served with green seaweed, which actually was sauerkraut dyed green.
Ahhh, only in the minor leagues.
The Lake Monster jerseys were auctioned off after the game, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
"They were different, but it's fun doing stuff like that, change the look a little bit," Curve shortstop Brock Holt said.
Because the team lost, though, Holt joked, "I wouldn't mind not seeing [the jerseys] ever again, but whatever."
From a history perspective, Lake Monsters, Fish, Ridge Runners and Coasters were the finalists of the name-the-team contest in 1998. Coasters was the top vote-getter, but thankfully 33 people submitted the name "Curve" as a write-in candidate.
Lozinak loved the name from the get-go and made the final decision to select it. Unfortunately, there is no single person credited for coming up with the name Curve because several people submitted it at once.
"When it was suggested, people thought, 'That one really hits a chord,'" general manager Rob Egan said.
It absolutely does, so much in fact that the opinion here is that Altoona Curve is as good and fitting of a name for a sports franchise as any in the world.
For this team, in this town, it is the perfect name, and nothing else is even a close second.
Cory Giger is the host of "Sports Central" from 4 to 6 p.m. daily on ESPN Radio 1430 WVAM. Reach him at 949-7031 or @CoryGiger on Twitter.