The Five Best Minor League Baseball Team Names

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Richard Hershberger

Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.

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31 Responses

  1. Avatar greginak says:

    I do like the Isotopes. That is a winner.

    I’d love to see what the mascot for the Lugnuts is but i can’t imagine what it would be for the Tourists.Report

    • Googling it, it is a guy in a baseball uniform with a giant ball on his head: a minor league version of the Mets’ mascot. Lame, but you don’t go to minor league ball for the mascot. With the notable exception, that is, of the Wilmington, Delaware Blue Rocks. Whenever the Blue Rocks score, a guy in a celery suit (“Mr. Celery”) rushes out and dances around and high fives the fans. It is pointless and utterly charming. Mr. Celery has a devoted local following. Here he is:

      Report

    • Isotopes also honors Albuquerque’s association with physicist Werner Heisenberg.Report

  2. Avatar J.L. Wall says:

    I had a conversation with my wife on Sunday evening about how and why the Toledo Mudhens have the best team name in baseball. Glad to see I was both timely and (probably) correct. (If this were my list, the Lugnuts might have been a bit higher, though…)Report

  3. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Your selections are objectively correct. Good show!Report

  4. Avatar Aaron David says:

    Well, I am a Rivercats fan and generally prefer to go to minor league games than most majors (A’s excepted). But you are probably right about the names. I like Lugnuts.Report

  5. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    We’ve got minor league ball right here in my hometown, the JetHawks. Leaving aside the inappropriateness of mushing two words together and leaving the second word still capitalized in the middle of the name, it combines the goodness of local relevance with the tiredness of the adjective-followed-by-a-bird-of-prey-of-some-kind naming trope (variant: gerund-followed-by-a-bird-of-prey-of-some-kind).Report

  6. Avatar Chris says:

    I’ve always like the Nashville Sounds, but then I would. And the New Orleans Zephyrs, whom Nashville used to play regularly.

    Also the Chattanooga Lookouts.

    The greatest sports nickname of all time, however, goes to the now defunct Macon, GA minor league hockey team.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      the now defunct Macon, GA minor league hockey team

      OK, you made me look it up: the Macon Whoopee treads dangerously upon being a funny-once joke. On the other hand, it makes me think of Michelle Pfeiffer slithering around on top of a piano while wearing a slinky red dress. In fact, I’m thinking of that right now… Mmmm… What were we talking about again?Report

    • Avatar Kolohe says:

      When the NBA d-league was considering Macon as a location, ‘The Bacon’ was in the running as a team name.Report

  7. Avatar Slade the Leveller says:

    The Midwest League alone is rife with awesome nicknames, the aforementioned Lugnuts being one of them. Also of note are the Ft. Wayne Tincaps (Johnny Appleseed is buried right next to the old park), the W. Michigan Whitecaps, and the Cedar Rapids Kernels (because what else in IA would be an inspiration for a team name?). Quad Cities has been many things, but I think the Swing was their best nickname, paying homage Davenport being the hometown of drunken cornet great Bix Beiderbecke. My son and I take an annual long weekend trip to three Midwest League towns to watch baseball, play golf, and sightsee. He was 10 when we started and he’s a sophomore in college today.

    My wife is from just outside Moline and one of our first dates was to a game at John O’Donnell stadium to see the QC Angels play. It cost $3 a head to get in. She knew she was in for great things after that.Report

  8. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    Really? Really?

    You specifically call out the trend of body-of-water plus cat/dog/bird as lazy, and then your number one pick is body-of-water plus bird?

    Shame on you.Report

    • Avatar Richard Hershberger says:

      First off, I remind you that this listicle is “objectively correct” and therefore not subject to any niggling concerns with foolish consistency. In any case, “mud” is entirely different from “river” and “sea.” The latter are bodies of water. The former is a substance, albeit one incorporating water. In summary, I am completely vindicated. Thank you for your time.Report

      • Avatar Alan Scott says:

        Which I’d accept if “mud’ in this context, didn’t refer to a mudflat and not just the substance. After all, “sea” can refer to both a body of water and also the water-esque substance contained by that body of water.

        And i refuse to abandon the foolish consistency until you retract your ill-considered slander of the Sacramento team.Report

  9. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    If there’s not a team called the Sault Sainte Marie Yoopers, then there ought to be and I want the apparel concession.Report

    • Avatar gingergene says:

      There is a junior hockey team in Ironwood called the Fighting Yoopers, but I think a true yooper team should be located in Ishpeming or Marquette or somewhere in the middle of the UP.

      And I’ll give you the apparel concession, but I get all the pasty profits.Report

  10. Avatar Ken S. says:

    There used to be a minor league baseball team in Sonoma County, California, called the Crushers. Their mascot was a bear with purple feet. During home games, their fans would chant “We will, we will crush you.”Report

  11. Avatar CK MacLeod says:

    Shout out, or honorable mention out, for my hometownish team:

    …who play at “the Epicenter.”Report

  12. Avatar Mo says:

    I’m a fan of the indoor football team the Omaha Beef.Report

  13. Avatar Montaigne says:

    My local minor league baseball team is the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, which I think deserves a mention. Crustacean Nation!Report

  14. Avatar gingergene says:

    Savannah, GA just lost their AAA team to Columbus, SC*, but prior to that, I’d put in a word for the Savannah Sand Gnats. It’s got a if-you-can’t-beat-em-join-em kinda feel to it, as well as the implication that they will be supremely annoying to the the opposing team.

    There’s a new college-ball team coming to town, and they’re scouting for names now.

    *Fun note: apparently now minor league teams feel emboldened to try the “build me a new stadium or I’mma take my toys and go home” tactic. I hope to whichever deity is in charge of whiny millionaires that this is treated with all possible disdain. The end can only be small towns devoid of high schools because they refused to build them acceptable sports facilities.Report