Teams with asterisks are not yet posted

Aberdeen IronBirds*
Acereros del Norte
Águila de Veracruz*
Aigles de Trois-Rivières
Akron RubberDucks
Albuquerque Isotopes
Algodoneros de Unión Laguna
Altoona Curve
Amarillo Sod Poodles
Arkansas Travelers
Asheville Tourists
Augusta GreenJackets
Beloit Snappers
Billings Mustangs
Biloxi Shuckers
Binghamton Rumble Ponies
Birmingham Barons
Boise Hawks
Bowie Baysox
Bowling Green Hot Rods
Bradenton Marauders
Bravos de León
Brooklyn Cyclones
Buffalo Bisons
Capitales de Quebec
Carolina Mudcats
Cedar Rapids Kernels
Charleston Dirty Birds*
Charleston RiverDogs
Charlotte Knights
Chattanooga Lookouts
Chicago Dogs
Clearwater Threshers
Cleburne Railroaders
Columbia Fireflies
Columbus Clippers
Corpus Christi Hooks
Dayton Dragons
Daytona Tortugas
Delmarva Shorebirds
Diablos Rojos del México
Down East Wood Ducks
Dunedin Blue Jays
Durham Bulls
El Paso Chihuahuas
Erie SeaWolves
Eugene Emeralds
Evansville Otters*
Everett AquaSox
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
Fayetteville Woodpeckers
Florence Y'Alls
Fort Myers Mighty Mussels
Fort Wayne TinCaps
Fredericksburg Nationals*
Fresno Grizzlies
Frisco RoughRiders
Frontier Greys*
Gary SouthShore RailCats
Gastonia Honey Hunters
Gateway Grizzlies
Generales de Durango
Glacier Range Riders*
Grand Junction Rockies
Great Falls Voyagers
Great Lakes Loons
Greensboro Grasshoppers
Greenville Drive
Guerreros de Oaxaca
Gwinnett Stripers
Harrisburg Senators
Hartford Yard Goats
Hickory Crawdads
High Point Rockers
Hillsboro Hops
Hudson Valley Renegades
Idaho Falls Chukars
Indianapolis Indians
Inland Empire 66ers of San

Iowa Cubs
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp
Jersey Shore BlueClaws*
Joliet Slammers
Jupiter Hammerheads
Kane County Cougars*
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers
Kansas City Monarchs
Lake County Captains
Lake Country Dockhounds*
Lake Elsinore Storm
Lake Erie Crushers
Lakeland Flying Tigers
Lancaster Barnstormers
Lansing Lugnuts
Las Vegas Aviators
Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Leones de Yucatán
Lexington Legends
Lincoln Saltdogs
Long Island Ducks
Louisville Bats
Lynchburg Hillcats
Mariachis de Guadalajara
Memphis Redbirds
Midland RockHounds*
Milwaukee Milkmen
Mississippi Braves
Missoula Paddleheads*
Modesto Nuts
Montgomery Biscuits
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Nashville Sounds*
New Hampshire Fisher Cats
New Jersey Jackals*
New York Boulders
Norfolk Tides
Northern Colorado Owlz
Northwest Arkansas Naturals
Ogden Raptors
Oklahoma City Dodgers
Olmecas de Tabasco
Omaha Storm Chasers
Ottawa Titans*
Palm Beach Cardinals
Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Peoria Chiefs
Pericos de Puebla
Piratas de Campeche
Portland Sea Dogs
Quad City River Bandits
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Reading Fightin Phils
Reno Aces
Richmond Flying Squirrels
Rieleros de Aguascalientes
Rochester Red Wings
Rocket City Trash Pandas*
Rocky Mountain Vibes
Rome Braves
Round Rock Express
Sacramento River Cats
Salem Red Sox
Salt Lake Bees
San Antonio Missions
San Jose Giants
Saraperos de Saltillo
Schaumburg Boomers
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders
Sioux City Explorers
Sioux Falls Canaries
Somerset Patriots
South Bend Cubs
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Spokane Indians
Springfield Cardinals
St. Lucie Mets
St. Paul Saints
Staten Island Ferry Hawks*
Stockton Ports
Sugar Land Skeeters
Sultanes de Monterrey
Sussex County Miners
Syracuse Mets*
Tacoma Rainiers
Tampa Tarpons*
Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos*
Tennessee Smokies
Tigres de Quintana Roo
Toledo Mud Hens
Toros de Tijuana
Trenton Thunder
Tri-City Dust Devils
Tri-City ValleyCats
Vancouver Canadians
Visalia Rawhide
Washington Wild Things
West Michigan Whitecaps
Wichita Wind Surge
Wild Health Genomes*
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Windy City Thunderbolts
Winnipeg Goldeyes*
Winston-Salem Dash*
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Worcester Red Sox*
York Revolution
Northwest Arkansas Naturals 88

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Posted 2017 April 30

Sometimes I look at a terrible team name and just know it's fairly recent. Only in the past fifteen to twenty years have teams gotten bad about ridiculous compound words, especially with capital letters stuck in the middle for no reason. Augusta GreenJackets? That's got to be recent. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton RailRiders? No one would have thought that one up in 1923. Akron RubberDucks? Rubber ducks are at least a real thing, but it's doubtful anyone a hundred years ago would give their team such a name and even if they did it would be two words.

Others speak to a naming convention that dominated long, long ago. Asheville Tourists? That clearly sounds like a name that was first used over a century ago, and sure enough it was first used in 1915. Arkansas Travelers? Yep, 1895. Birmingham Barons? Unlike the other examples I've given that's actually a good name but there's still something about it that sounds very old-fashioned, and indeed it dates all the way back to 1885 (the only older name in minor league baseball is the Buffalo Bisons, first used in 1877). And then we come to the Northwest Arkansas Naturals and you just know that no one in the Twenty-First Century would come up with a name like this. It's got to date back to before the Great Depression.

Nope. This one doesn't even manage to pre-date the Great Recession, as the name debuted in 2008. That's right: this name is less than a decade old. I have no idea what they were thinking. Granted, I have no idea what people were thinking when they came up with names like the Asheville Tourists or (and this is a real team from the late 1890s) Worcester Farmers, but I don't expect to understand the mindset of people from the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. The North Carolina of 1915 was very different from the North Carolina of today; the Massachusetts of 1898 even more so. But the Arkansas of ten years ago isn't so different from the North Carolina of today.

Or maybe it is. Apparently there was quite the controversy when a local preacher discovered that (gasp!) alcohol was going to be served at the ballpark! Look, I've got nothing against people who aren't keen on drinking (I myself have never been drunk), but to be surprised that a ballpark is going to let people buy a beer? In the Twenty-First Century? And then, proving once again that I don't understand the Arkansas of 2008, this preacher's opposition to an alcohol-serving ballpark nearly killed the team. Seriously: after this preacher announced his opposition, a movement to vote against a referendum to provide tax-payer funding for the stadium rose up and in the end the referendum passed by a mere fifteen votes. I'm trying to imagine what would happen if there was a push to build a stadium here in Raleigh and a local pastor announced his opposition on the grounds that beer would be served. In that instance fifteen votes sounds less like how much the referendum would win by and more like the number of votes that would actually change as a result of the preacher's opposition. And if we're talking about a basketball stadium then it wouldn't even be that high. After all, for all the churches in Raleigh, everyone who lives here knows that largest denominations in town aren't Baptists, Methodists, and Catholics, but Wolf Pack, Tarheels, and Blue Devils.

The name could have been worse, incidentally. The "Naturals" name was the winner of an online fan poll. The second placer? "Thunder Chickens". No, seriously. And apparently it's an annual thing where for one night the Naturals go by that name. (It's usually in early June, if you're interested.) I don't know what other names were in the poll. But I can't help but think: good god, if Naturals won and freaking Thunder Chickens was the runner-up, what must the other options have looked like? I'm sure with some intense Googling I could find out, but honestly? I'm not sure I want to know.

Final Score: 88 points.
Penalties: Region, 8 pts; Reference (to the movie), 10 pts; Alliteration, 5 pts; Scenery, 11 pts; Equipment, 13 pts; Colorful, 31 pts; Name, 10 pts.
Bonuses: None.

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