Fort Wayne Officials Jumpy Over Building's Potentially Provocative Name

FortWayne The people of Fort Wayne, Indiana, are embroiled in quite the sticky debate: whether to name a new government building after a late, beloved mayor named Harry Baals.

The city held an online poll to name the new building, and Baals, who served three terms from 1934-1947, and then a fourth from 1951 to his death in 1954, came out on top. 

Despite popular support for naming the building after Baals, Deputy Mayor Beth Malloy said such a commemoration would "probably not" happen. Why? Because of the pronunciation of Baals' last name: "balls."

The building, then, would be called the "Harry 'Balls' Government Center," followed by an eruption of laughter. Malloy, however, thinks such a name could make Fort Wayne "look bad." She failed to note that there's already a "Harry Baals Drive" in the Indiana town.

I'll tell you, Harry Baals gets no respect.

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  1. Only in America...

    Posted by: Fred | Feb 10, 2011 9:54:34 AM

  2. I'm sure his name was "Harold Baals".

    Problem, if there really was one, solved!

    When I was Ole Miss we had a similar situation when a women's dorm was going to be named after a beloved late professor Hoare. Imagine the angst and trepidation when parents found out that their little darlings were going to be assigned to "Hoare Hall".

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Feb 10, 2011 10:13:03 AM

  3. Sorry, it wasn't a late professor, it was an author and Ole Miss alumnus, Jere Hoar who, evidently, is still alive.

    Posted by: TampaZeke | Feb 10, 2011 10:17:33 AM

  4. GROW UP!

    Just call it Harry William Baals, never use the shortened name in speaking. Wow and how long have the AP guidelines been out?

    Posted by: Fenrox | Feb 10, 2011 10:22:17 AM

  5. Indiana tends to have this kind of problem. There is an university named Ball State in Indiana. It received large endowments form the Ball family. They were the producers of canning jars. The Ball family purchased an expensive portrait of Abraham Lincoln. The portrait was for the library. The student newspaper ran this headline: "Lincoln hung by Balls in the Library."

    Posted by: Mike in the Tundra | Feb 10, 2011 10:46:27 AM

  6. As a native Hoosier, I feel that we should definitely KEEP the name Harry Baals Govt. Center... it would get far more tourists than otherwise and probably help the local economy. Plus it's hilarious and if there's anything the government of this state needs, it's a smile.

    Beth Malloy needs to grow, er, get a sense of humor.

    Posted by: johnny | Feb 10, 2011 10:48:03 AM

  7. Wow, are people really that stupid? Use the full name like someone suggested or just use his last name.

    America really can be so infantile - not in a good way.

    Posted by: jakeinlove | Feb 10, 2011 11:26:42 AM

  8. Reminds me, what ever happened to plans in San Francisco to rename a sewage treatment plant the "George W. Bush Sewage Plant" ?

    Posted by: Mike C. | Feb 10, 2011 12:33:27 PM

  9. ohhh i tought it said fart...jiji

    Posted by: kristian | Feb 10, 2011 12:51:42 PM

  10. Funny thing is, I thought the story was going to be about how the sign actually looks like "Fart Wayne". lol

    Posted by: Gregg | Feb 10, 2011 1:54:39 PM

  11. In these tough economic times, the City Council shouldn't discount the enormous potential of t-shirt sales...

    Posted by: BobN | Feb 10, 2011 3:04:59 PM

  12. I agree that hairy balls get no respect.
    I'm the President of the Ball Lovers Society of NOrth America --yes, I have the complete balls fetish, and I am appalled at what short-shrift balls receive in this society. Look up vagina or penis on Google and you get millions of hit most of which are related to great porn and sex. Look up "balls" or "testicles" or "low hanger"... whatever term you use, you get shockingly few hits, and most of them are clinical in the message. Medical sites! Balls are the essence of a man. They are gorgeous, suckable, pliable, the swinging gems of every man. They're the sexual factory that makes all the cream cum-lovers can't get enough of.
    I've had it with the absolute apathy this society has for a man's hottest assets! His gorgeous nuts, balls, family jewels!

    Posted by: Dan Cobbb | Feb 10, 2011 3:33:24 PM

  13. Dan Cobbb, way to go - let your freedom ring...

    My solution: It should be the Mayor Balls center - easiest thing of all to say.

    Also for Spanish-Americans in Dan C's freedom fetish camp, it has the added bonus of meaning "better balls."

    Posted by: Patrick M | Feb 10, 2011 5:35:54 PM

  14. Hey Dan.... way to go man!
    We could do with a bit of hairy bollock worship here in London too...
    Can't find your soc' on the t'internet!
    And Andy... I just read this story out to mum on the phone and made her have an asthma attack! Way to go man!
    Hairy... sorry Harry Balls rule....

    Posted by: Philip in London | Feb 10, 2011 7:03:44 PM

  15. Well, I guess they can just kiss Harry Baals good-bye.

    Posted by: coolbearinmd | Feb 10, 2011 11:20:43 PM

  16. The Chicago White Sox have a player named J.J. Putz, and I was wondering if he ever made it to the Hall of Fame... if there might be a problem with his name, then I realized that there are a few Putz's there, now in Cooperstown. Including Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorta who was a homo-phobe. He traded Glenn Burke to the A's, when he found OUT that his openly gay son was dating Glenn.
    Just this year, A's Billy Martin's name was put up for possible enshrinement, and he introduced Glenn Burke to his fellow teammates and added... by the way, he's a fagot! That is in a new documentary "OUT, the Glenn Burke Story", that I had a small cameo in it.

    Posted by: jerry pritikin | Feb 11, 2011 5:50:16 AM

  17. @Dan Cobbb: Sorry Dan, but the prostate gland makes the cream. The balls make sperm.

    Posted by: SONNIE | Feb 11, 2011 10:47:26 AM

  18. "Officials in Fort Wayne Indianna have balked at naming the city's latest civic building after its most successful mayor – Harry Baals.
    The city had thrown open the choice of moniker for its latest erection to the people. A campaign to name the building after Harry Baals soon gathered steam, with citizens eager to commemorate his four terms in office between the 1930s and 1950s.

    However, the current administration has drawn the line at having Harry Baals splattered all over the new edifice, the AP reports.

    While Harry's descendants pronounce the family name ""bales"", apparently the original pronunciation was more like ""balls"" – and killjoy city fathers are worried this might expose the City to puerile jokery.
    ""We realise that while Harry Baals was a respected mayor, not everyone outside of Fort Wayne will know that,"" deputy mayor Beth Malloy told the AP. ""We wanted to pick something that would reflect our pride in our community beyond the boundaries of Fort Wayne.""
    One of Harry's descendents, Jim Baals, said: ""I understand people are going to poke fun at it. That's OK. I've lived with that name for 51 years now, and I've gotten through it. I think everybody else can, too."""

    Posted by: sim so dep | Oct 18, 2011 11:14:47 PM

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