With Washington-area baseball looking more and more likely, the recent focus of many media reports has been the competition between sites in D.C. proper and in distant Loudoun County, Va. The suburban plan calls for a massive development of commercial and residential real estate that would anchor (and ultimately help defray) the enormous cost of such an undertaking. The groups behind this plan, Virginia Baseball Club, the Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority, and Diamond Lake Associates, hopes its location—about 60 miles away from nervous, ever-market-conscious Baltimore Orioles owner Peter Angelos—will be what tips the scale in Virginia’s favor. Of course, there are many other locations 60 or more miles from Camden Yards that could theoretically accommodate the new development.

Harpers Ferry, W.Va. (69 miles)

Team Name: Raiders

Mascot: John Brown

Pros: John Brown’s nutty, righteous image is just aching to be turned into a mascot.

Cons: The possible high summer ratio of river rafts to automobiles may indicate an ill-preparedness on the part of the town.

Giveaway gimmick: Nineteenth-century weapons and ammunition on John Brown Throwback Day

Lusby, Md. (74 miles)

Team Name: Lusbians

Mascot: Smash Atoms, nuclear-powered slugger

Pros: Nearby Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant might provide more than just the juice for the lights; imagine how much ground Jose Vidro could cover with a few extra, abnormally stretchy arms.

Cons: No matter how well it may mask the flavor of lips and assholes, mustard can’t cover up radiation.

Giveaway gimmick: Protective lead gear on Family Day

Intercourse, Pa. (91 miles)

Name: Blisterin’ Blue

Mascot: Rafael Palmeiro

Pros: Name recognition.

Cons: Isn’t that joke kind of old?

Giveaway gimmick: Bobble, uh, Heads

Washington, Va. (107 miles)

Name: Senators

Mascot: D.C. Shadow Senator Paul Strauss

Pros: MLB could have a team called the Washington Senators based far away from Baltimore and be lying only just a little bit.

Cons: The hand-drawn map and driving directions on the city’s Web site are a little confusing.

Giveaway gimmick: One lucky fan will get to be shadow senator for a day—or a week, or a month. It really doesn’t matter.

Queen Tree Landing, Md. (87 miles)

Name: Mercuries

Mascot: Flamin’ Freddie

Pros: Long forsaken by MLB, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury (who just happens to share a birthday with 1960 World Series hero Bill Mazeroski) finally gets a team named in his honor.

Cons: Notoriously homophobic ballplayers might get nervous about the town’s name.

Giveaway gimmick: Vintage leather chaps

Art accompanying story in the printed newspaper is not available in this archive: Robert Ullman.

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