Dining With Denise Neil

The Wichita Doo-Dahs? Baseball team unveils fourth name nominee with help of local diner

The owners of a popular Wichita restaurant are especially behind the latest nominated name for Wichita’s new baseball team, unveiled on Wednesday morning.

The Wichita Doo-Dahs.

That restaurant, of course, is Doo-Dah Diner at 206 E. Kellogg , and shortly after the newest name nominee was announced, the staff of Wichita Baseball was at the diner filming an “explainer” video with diner owners Timirie and Patrick Shibley. That video will be on the Wichita Baseball 2020 Facebook page.

Since early August, the managers of the minor league baseball team (formerly known as the Baby Cakes) that will start playing in Wichita this spring have been rolling out potential names every two weeks on social media. They’re trying to get feedback, says assistant general manager Bob Moullette, and they’re also trying to get people talking.

And have they ever. The first team name nominee — Wichita River Riders — was unveiled in early August before people fully understood what the team was up to. Many assumed it was the official name for the new team, and reaction was swift and sometimes stinging.

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Wichita Doo-Dahs is the fourth of seven team name nominees that Wichita baseball plans to roll out for discussion. Courtesy

Every two weeks since then, a new potential name and mock-up logo has been put out. Wichita 29ers was next followed by Wichita Linemen.

Wichita Doo-Dahs, an ode to a longtime nickname for Wichita, is the fourth suggested name, and three more will roll out before the final decision is made in mid-November, Moullette said.

“We just want to make this fun, to get a conversation going, a narrative,” he said. “And we want to hear it all because we’re actually formulating through these names great ideas that could be used in the park or for future promotions.”

Timirie Shibley, who met the baseball staff by chance on one of its earliest visits to town, has been feeding many of them at her diner ever since. She loves the new name for obvious reasons, she said, and she and her husband chose that name for their diner because it reflects Wichita’s personality.

An Urban Dictionary definition of “Doo-Dah” is spelled out on a sign that famously hangs on the diner’s wall. Doo-Dah, it says, is “another nickname for Wichita, KS., origins unknown, but perhaps it references the laid back, whimsical attitude felt by some visitors to the city.”

Moullette said that Wichita Doo-Dahs will almost certainly not become the team’s final name, mainly because there’s already a Doo-Dah Diner in town. But of the 3,000 suggested names that the team collected via social media for a period that ended in March, The Doo-Dahs got 200 mentions.

Doo-Dah deserved a look, and the name could play some role in the ballpark’s overall branding, he said.

“This one for sure won’t be the full branded name,” Moullette said. “But who’s to say next year or in years to come that we couldn’t change our name to the Doo-Dahs for the day? They’re actually giving us great feedback on what to do and what not to do in future seasons as well.”

Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.
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