Image source: Kevin Guilfoile
For those of you who may not know, "The Illuminati" is defined as a mysterious organization of people who claim to possess special enlightenment or knowledge of something. If you consider yourself a "hip" parent, you may have heard some rumblings about "The Illuminati" in reference to celebrities like Beyoncé, Kanye West, and Jay Z.
Based on this definition, it was quite a shock to the parents of a local Chicago travel baseball team when they gave their 10-year-olds permission to choose their own team name and they decided on "The Illuminati."
Babble caught up with Kevin Guilfoile, whose son Vaughn is on the team, to get the backstory on how this name came into fruition. He explains:
"All of these kids also play in the local Little League, and they don't often get to choose the name of [the] team they are on. The coaches knew they didn't want a traditional name like the Tigers or whatever - they wanted something that would stand out - so they thought they'd let the kids take a crack at it."
That seems like a logical, albeit slightly terrifying, idea for a group of kids that are all 10 and under! Most kids can't even agree on what to eat for dinner, let alone settle on a team name. There were a few names thrown around before the team unanimously decided on "The Illuminati." One idea was "The Juicers" as the team is sponsored by a juice company, but that was "until it was pointed out to them that the word 'juicer' has a connection to steroid use that was probably not appropriate." Oy vey!
Sometimes it's a horrible mistake to let ten-year-olds name their own baseball team. Then again, sometimes they crush it. pic.twitter.com/I1jgDqrPfp— Kevin Guilfoile (@kevinguilfoile) April 10, 2017
"The Illuminati" was proposed by the manager's son Daniel. "Once that name was on the table there was very little debate," Guilfoile says. While the kids don't exactly know what the term means, Guilfoile thinks they probably recognize it from YouTube, Internet memes, and subtle jokes from Disney XD's Gravity Falls. "They just think it's funny," he notes.
Luckily enough, all of the parents were on board with the name selection. Guilfoile says:
"I think some of the parents thought it was funny. Some were a little confused. Some probably wondered how the kids knew about The Illuminati. But everyone was a good sport about it. I think the general attitude was, 'If that's what they want, go for it.'"
While Guilfoile, who is a novelist, doesn't usually post about his private life on his Twitter account, he thought the uniform was so funny he "couldn't resist posting the picture." It has since gone viral with over 103K likes, 36K retweets and recognition from actor Jon Cryer and Gravity Falls creator Alex Hirsch.
"Almost immediately we were getting requests - literally hundreds of them - from people who wanted to buy caps and jerseys," Guilfoile says. (We're not going to lie, we definitely want one of our own.)
In the past few days, the team has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the team and to let people buy Illuminati baseball apparel. So far they've raised $1,420 and plan to donate any money beyond their goal to help the local Little League and Park District to upgrade their facilities.
Thanks for laugh boys - see you on the field!
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