By Kari Hicks
The Giants. The Sox. The Rangers. The Yankees. These are all team names we can associate with, and they’ve become everyday words within our vocabulary if your house is anything like ours (baseball obsessed). You don’t give it a second thought when you talk about the Mets, the Jays, the Marlins, the Dodgers. Even many non-baseball fans will know what you’re referring to.
But have you ever looked into the names of some of the many minor league teams floating around the country? All MLB teams have a farm system with A to AAA affiliate teams. In doing a little research, I caught a glimpse of some truly fascinating and uniquely weird minor league baseball team names. Some articles have been published online about the subject. A couple years ago, Sports Illustrated published a funny story outlining their top picks for most unique names, and they follow:
17. Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
16. Witchita Wingnuts
15. Orem Owlz
14. El Paso Chihuahuas
13. Modesto Nuts
13. Modesto Nuts
12. Fort Wayne Tin Cups
11. Traverse City Beach Bums
10. Savannah Bananas
9. Normal Cornbelters
8. Topeka Train Robbers
7. Akron Rubber Ducks
6. Toledo Mudhens
5. Richmond Flying Squirrels
4. Albuquerque Isotopes
3. Montgomery Biscuits
2. Hartford Yard Goats
1. Batavia Muckdogs
I find it fascinating that I’ve seen two of these teams perform on their home fields (Richmond Flying Squirrels and Toledo Mudhens), and the number one pick is a team about 30 minutes east of Buffalo, NY where I live.
My friend Brad Agustin was also a player with the Normal Cornbelters not too many years ago. I remember his super cool uniforms, complete with a large corn on the cob across the front of his baseball cap. On a side note, Brad also mentioned to me today that he played for a team called the London Rippers! Where do they come up with these names?
All of this kind of makes me feel super connected to the list. It also makes me want to take a few road trips – who doesn’t want to be part of the Train Robbers, Tin Cups, and Yard Goats experience? I feel the need to start a pennant collection for each of these teams to add to the basement bar area!
Travel Ball Parents founder – and good friend – Angela Weight has also been to a couple of these team venues (Richmond Flying Squirrels and Savannah Bananas). Maybe her family will take a road trip over to Lehigh to be one with the Iron Pigs this summer?
And then Angela adds a few more.
Seeing Kari’s awesome countdown from Iron Pigs to Muckdogs, I wanted to keep laughing. So I did a quick search of strange high school mascots. Here are some favorites that are bound to get points for creativity.
1. AZ – Yuma Criminals (the psychologist in me wonders if there’s a higher percentage of actual criminals coming out of this school. I mean, if you get called something enough times….)
2. SD – Sturgis Brown Scoopers (“Seriously? no need for handshakes. We’ll just do air high fives.”)
3. MN – Blooming Prairie Awesome Blossoms (I’m having trouble finding the awesomeness in a team named after an overpriced chain restaurant appetizer. I’d be a lot happier if they were the Blooming Prairie Bang Bang Shrimp. But, they didn’t ask me.)
5. MO – Hickman Kewpies (Seems like their rivals would have an especially good time pummeling these cute little dolls.)
6. PA – Williamsport Millionaires (I’d like to see them play the Criminals.)
7. IL – Hoopeston Cornjerkers (Any guesses as to what their signature play is called?)
8. Arkansas School for the Deaf Leopards (Now THAT is clever.)
10. VA – Annandale Atoms
11. AL – Anlak Halfbreeds (Hey, that’s a compliment where I’m from.)
12. NJ – Fair Lawn Cutters (You’d think they’d have gone for the more professional sounding “Landscapers.”)
13. MA – St. Clement Anchormen (Their uniforms are burgundy. After Ron Burgundy, perhaps?)
14. CT – Avon Old Farm Winged Beavers (Because plain old beavers just aren’t threatening enough.)
15. AL – Lanier Poets (There once was a team called the Poets……They could catch the ball but not throet…)
Got a funny, original or just plain weird team name you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear it. Leave it in the comments so we can do more laughing.