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Jack the Ripper baseball look-alike to stay in London, Ont.

05/16/2012 09:35 EDT | Updated 07/16/2012 05:12 EDT

City council in London, Ont., has struck out in its attempt to tone down what it calls a sinister image of a new professional baseball team.

The president of the London Rippers of the independent Frontier League told City Hall he's not changing a thing about the team's logo, Diamond Jack.

That's what the team calls him, but some say the villainous-looking man in a black top hat and wielding a baseball bat is really meant to portray serial killer Jack the Ripper of London, England.

In response to public outcry last fall, council urged the Rippers to change their name.

But in a recent letter to municipal politicians, team president David Martin claims residents and fans in the southwestern Ontario city like the name and logo. Neither will be changed.

"Excuse the pun, but I think he's way off base," Coun. Joe Swan said. "I don't think from a business perspective, he'll be successful."

Megan Walker, executive director of the London Abused Women's Centre, also believes Martin has erred.

"Arrogance sometimes doesn't get you very far. And we'll see how far his arrogance gets him," Walker said.

Martin refused a request for an interview.

Council is unlikely to take action against the team, but the city's licence agreement with the Rippers expires after one year.

Some have already suggested it might not be renewed.

Not the first logo to spark controversy

The Rippers, who play at Labatt Park, aren't the first sports team to be asked to change their name.

A Christian college in Massachusetts gave up its Crusaders nickname because "the violent soldier of the crusades" was not representative of the school. The teams of Eastern Nazarene College are now the Lions.

When San Jose's new NHL team held a name-the-team contest, the winner was Blades. It was rejected in favour of Sharks because of the gang connotation of Blades.

As well, Washington's NBA team was known as the Bullets until 1997, when owners decided that the name was too violent. The team is now the Washington Wizards.

The Rippers, the newest and only Canadian team in the Frontier League, last year produced a video explaining the team's nickname.

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