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Mascot to be named Monday

LAWRENCEVILLE - This groundhog won't wait until February.

The Gwinnett Braves mascot will be christened Monday in an old-fashioned convention-style event at a local elementary school.

Through a poll on the Gwinnett Daily Post Web site, fans voted last week for the name of the portly cartoon groundhog - choosing between Chopper, Pop-Up and Shadow.

Now that the votes have been cast, the students of Lawrenceville Elementary School will hold the convention, modeled after the recent Republican and Democratic party events, where the kids will lobbying and cheering for their favorite moniker. The 10 a.m. convention will be hosted by Tony Shiavone, the voice of the Atlanta Braves' Triple-A affiliate.

"We plan for our mascot to be a major representation of our team and our brand in the community," said Bruce Baldwin, general manager of the Gwinnett Braves, which will begin play next April. "For this reason, we wanted our community and future fans to be actively involved in the naming, origin

and character of the mascot."

The three names were chosen from 4,396 entries in the "Name the Mascot" contest. A total of 5,109 fans then voted on the mascot, which was inspired by General Beauregard Lee, Georgia's official weather prognosticator who lives at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn.