I’ve received a few comments in the two weeks since Wild Pitch released, asking why I didn’t use major league team names. Some readers were confused, thinking that the teams were minor league clubs. They’re not. They’re 100% fictional. Could I have used the Brewers name instead of the Mavericks or the Cubs rather than the Bulldogs. I probably could have.
The reason I say probably is that it’s not crystal clear. Given the fact that there were times in the first book where a member of management didn’t have a particularly positive reaction to finding out one of his players is gay, I chose to go this route. With Major League Baseball making a public statement last year regarding the inclusion and acceptance of openly gay players, that scene could have been considered defamatory. If it was, there’s a chance I could have had to make changes after the fact. From the research I’ve done, you can use a trademarked name, but it can get sticky, especially if you’re not always singing the praises of the company associated with that trademark.
The other reason is purely marketing for me. I wanted to be able to make baseball cards to give away. I have made myself a shirt with the Mavericks logo on the front and Sean’s number on the back, as well as one for Mason. If I’d used real teams, I couldn’t have used their logos on my promotional materials. I like to have fun, and I’d prefer to do so without worrying about lawyers ever knocking on my door telling me that I can’t do what I want.
I do apologize if this decision has upset anyone, but I stand firmly behind it. Now, back to the writing cave!