By: Jonathan Goad
Most baseball fans have at least a little knowledge of the Minor League system. For those that don’t here’s a very brief explanation. Each Major League Baseball team has a system of Minor League teams. These are teams usually made up of younger players that still need time to develop into Major League players. These players can be called up or sent down over several different levels of the Minors.
Minor League Baseball is very enjoyable to watch. You get to see the future of the MLB before they become stars. Most of the time, these players are fighting their hardest to get what could be their only shot at a big league career.
However, the best thing about the Minors is the team names. As you can tell by the title of this article, some are incredible. I’ve put together a list of the most outrageous ones. Some are hilarious. Some you might not even know what it is. Some might make you question why you would name a team that.
Here are 10 of the most outrageous team names in Minor League Baseball in no particular order. In parentheses, I’ll include which MLB team they are affiliated with.
New Orleans Baby Cakes (Miami Marlins)
The only reason I know of this team is because my player on MLB The Show currently plays for the Baby Cakes. If you’re not familiar with New Orleans or Mardi Gras traditions, let me enlighten you. King Cake is a dessert served at Mardi Gras parties. A small, plastic baby is cooked inside the cake. The baby symbolizes luck and prosperity for whoever finds it in their slice. That person is also required to host the next party. Naming a team after a tradition is usually a good thing to do. The Baby Cakes continue that idea. Not only is the name great, the logo is excellent as well. Well done, New Orleans.
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets)
I had to look up what a rumble pony was. My initial thought was it was referencing an American muscle car. Rumble like the old engines did. Pony like mustang. Rumble Ponies. Mustangs. That was wrong. “A Rumble Pony is a steed so fierce that no carousel center poll can contain it,” according to newyorkupstate.com. Their claim to fame is that Tim Tebow played for them.
Erie SeaWolvs (Detroit Tigers)
To me, a sea wolf sounds pretty awesome. However, when you see their mascot, it’s just a wolf dressed up like a pirate. Still kind of cool, but not as cool as what I was picturing. I’ve never seen a pirate-wolf, but I wouldn’t mess with one if I ever came across one. However, their mascot and logo feature a smiling wolf dressed as pirate. Not quite as intimidating.
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami Marlins)
The Marlins Minor League teams really know how to name a team. While the Jumbo Shrimp won’t strike fear into an opponent, they’ll at least get a chuckle out of it. For what it’s worth, my MLB The Show player also played for this team.
Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies)
I don’t have any idea why a team would name their club after a goat, but it has been done. Their mascots feature a fairly creepy stare and smile. Seriously, don’t make eye contact. This is another pretty funny team name. It could be worse right?
Mobile BayBears (Los Angeles Angels)
I wasn’t quite sure what a BayBear was either. And by the looks of it, it’s just a bear. I suppose they incorporated the bay because of the location of the team. Although, I doubt there are many wild bears in Mobile…
Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays)
This has to be one of my favorite team names. Who names their team after a food item? Apparently, a lot of teams (New Orleans Baby Cakes, Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp). At least with those teams their location impacts the decisions. You can find biscuits anywhere, not just in Montgomery. They nailed the logo, though. Is anyone else hungry?
Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants)
What you’re not intimidated by squirrels? What about flying squirrels? I bet you’ve never had a squirrel come down out of a tree heading right in your direction. That’s because regular, run-of-the-mill squirrels can’t fly. Picture that same scenario with a flying squirrel. Totally different story. Not conviced? Well their mascot is a squirrel dressed up like a super hero.
Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays)
Again, I’ll be honest. I wasn’t sure what made a stone crab different from other crabs. Honestly, I’m still not exactly sure, but stone crabs to have huge claws. This might be the most intimidating name on this list. Sure, there’s bears and wolves, but a BayBear just sounds like a bear relaxing at the beach and a SeaWolf is totally made up. Wolves have never been pirates. Stone Crabs are a real thing and I bet they are delicious. Seriously, is anyone else hungry?
Down East Wood Ducks (Texas Rangers)
A wood duck is a real thing too. The male wood duck rocks a green mullet (apparently, it makes the female wood ducks swoon). While the logo has cleaned up the mullet a little bit, it’s still pretty cool. The mascot on the other hand could use some work. Also, Down East could be anywhere down east. For those that care, they play in Kinston, North Carolina. They also have an alternate logo/nickname. It’s a little NSFW, however. You’ve been warned:
Minor League Baseball is a very serious thing for the players. However, baseball is meant to be fun. It should be for both fans and players. Some of the team names show you just how much fun baseball can be. There’s so many great team names in the Minors. This was only ten of them. Part II of this series will bring even more outrageous team names. Stay tuned…