LAWRENCEVILLE - The Gwinnett Braves' groundhog mascot was christened Chopper Monday, amid a crowd of fifth-graders at Lawrenceville Elementary School.

The name was chosen through an online poll at, beating out Pop-Up and Shadow after 5,000 votes were cast.

Lilburn man Jim Bennett, a wildlife biologist, came up with the name because it combined the groundhog's natural ability with baseball. He won a trip to the 2009 Triple-A All-Star Game for the winning moniker.

"This is something that's going to last a lot longer than any of the modest records I've achieved," as his kids' softball coach, Bennett said. "Chopper is a natural."