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Top 10 Names in Minor League Baseball

The+writers+Montgomery+Biscuits+hat.
The writers Montgomery Biscuits hat.

The writers Montgomery Biscuits hat.

Owen Stewart

Owen Stewart

The writers Montgomery Biscuits hat.

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While the names of Major League Baseball’s 30 teams aren’t exactly examples of top of the line creativity, its affiliates in the minor leagues have recently become owners of some of the wildest names in all of professional sports. Of the 248 teams that make up the MiLB, here are the 10 which I believe did the best job of coming up with a memorable name.

  1. Las Vegas 51s (Triple-A, New York Mets)

The 51s, who got their name in 2001 after previously being named the Las Vegas Stars, are named in reference to Area 51, the rumored alien landing spot located an hour from Vegas. The 51s receive bonus points for having a simple but awesome logo, and also for being able to keep a franchise going in Las Vegas, a feat that seemed impossible for a long time.

  1. El Paso Chihuahuas (Triple-A, San Diego Padres)

Prior to being named after a small, notoriously annoying dog, the Chihuahuas were the Tucson Padres. Not exactly creative, right? Well, they certainly made up for it in 2014 when the franchise relocated to Western Texas. In addition to their attention-grabbing name, the Chihuahuas also have a dog-themed jersey that they wear once annually on their “Bark at the Park” day. It’s one example of something minor league baseball will give you that the majors never will.

  1. Modesto Nuts (Class A Advanced, Seattle Mariners)

After 40 years of being named after their parent team, the city of Modesto needed an injection of creativity into their minor league baseball team. This came in the form of the Nuts back in 2005. This is a perfect example of how a name that is seen as simple and even borderline childish can work, and it’s certainly aided by the fact that their logo and cap insignia is literally an almond. Not only that, they have three mascots; an almond, a walnut and a pistachio. Classic, yet perfect.

  1. Hartford Yard Goats (Double-A, Colorado Rockies)

The Yard Goats didn’t come to Hartford until 2016 after having previously been housed in nearby New Britain, CT, and got off to a rough start in the city after their new stadium wasn’t actually completed until 2017, but their name and colors make up for it. Although a “Yard Goat” actually has nothing to do with an animal (it’s actually a rail-yard slang term), the cap insignia is still pleasing to the eye. The Yard Goats’ combination of blue and green is to honor the Hartford Whalers, an NHL team that fell victim to relocation in 1997, which really speaks to the city’s identity.

  1. Florida Fire Frogs (Class A-Advanced, Atlanta Braves)

This team actually may have been slightly hurt by their 2017 name change, as their switch to the Fire Frogs from the Brevard County Manatees likely dropped them down this list. That being said, the Fire Frogs is still a pretty darn cool name with a logo that actually utilizes five different colors without looking over the top.

  1. Down East Wood Ducks (Class A-Advanced, Texas Rangers)

The Wood Ducks franchise didn’t even exist until 2017, but I’ve already fallen in love with the name. There was a bit of controversy about the “Down East” portion of the name, as it was argued that Kinston, NC, the home of the Wood Ducks, isn’t technically part of the Down East region of the state, but in the end, it won out. Now, they are of the only teams to be named after a region instead of a city or state, and a wood duck is actually a Carolina-based breed of duck. Local significance is always crucial when naming a team, and it was done well with the Wood Ducks.

  1. New Orleans Baby Cakes (Triple-A, Miami Marlins)

I know what you’re thinking…what is a baby cake?? The truth is, I don’t even know. Even a google search asking “What is a baby cake?” doesn’t pull up any discernible results. Here’s the thing; I don’t care what it is because it’s hilarious and the logo is a baby wearing eye black. Nothing else needs to be said.

  1. Binghamton Rumble Ponies (Double-A, New York Mets)

Personally, there aren’t many teams named after a pony that I would be excited to play for. However, a rumble pony brings some new excitement to the name. Just imagine a pony rumbling towards you. Scary, right? Plus, Tim Tebow plays for Binghamton. Or maybe that’s a minus, I haven’t decided yet, but nonetheless, this name change was welcomed after just being the Binghamton Mets for 25 years.

  1. Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Double-A, Miami Marlins)

With the Jumbo Shrimp at #2, the Marlins now have two of their minor league teams in the top five. They may have an abysmal roster, but hey, at least they’ve got some creative minds in the front office! The logo, featuring a very muscular shrimp in the shape of a J, is one that puts me on the edge of laughter, but also makes me want to see more merchandise, making Jacksonville one of the better names in the minors.

  1. Montgomery Biscuits (Double-A, Tampa Bay Rays)

For as long as the Montgomery Biscuits exist, they will be my favorite team in minor league baseball. I mean, who doesn’t love a biscuit, especially when it’s wearing cleats and used as a logo for a baseball team? I’m a proud owner of a Biscuits hat, and the fact that it’s a pretty locally significant name (southern hospitality = biscuits, of course) makes it even more appealing. It doesn’t get better than this.

Honorable mention: Hickory Crawdads, Akron RubberDucks, Augusta GreenJackets, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Richmond Flying Squirrels, Pensacola Blue Wahoos

 

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