Teams with asterisks are not yet posted

Aberdeen IronBirds
Acereros del Norte*
Aigles de Trois-Rivieres*
Akron RubberDucks
Albuquerque Isotopes
Alexandria Aces*
Algodoneros de Unión Laguna*
Altoona Curve
Amarillo Sod Poodles
Arkansas Travelers
Asheville Tourists
Auburn Doubledays*
Augusta GreenJackets
Batavia Muckdogs
Bay Area Toros*
Beloit Snappers
Billings Mustangs
Biloxi Shuckers
Binghamton Rumble Ponies*
Birmingham Barons
Bluefield Blue Jays
Boise Hawks
Bowie Baysox
Bowling Green Hot Rods
Bradenton Marauders
Bravos de León
Bristol Pirates
Brooklyn Cyclones
Buffalo Bisons
Burlington Bees
Burlington Royals
Calgary Vipers*
Capitales de Quebec
Carolina Mudcats
Cedar Rapids Kernels
Charleston RiverDogs
Charlotte Knights*
Charlotte Stone Crabs
Chattanooga Lookouts
Clearwater Threshers
Cleburne Railroaders*
Clinton LumberKings
Columbia Fireflies*
Columbus Clippers
Connecticut Tigers
Corpus Christi Hooks
Danville Braves
Dayton Dragons
Daytona Tortugas
Delmarva Shorebirds
Diablos Rojos del México
Down East Wood Ducks*
Dunedin Blue Jays
Durham Bulls
Elizabethton Twins
Erie SeaWolves
Eugene Emeralds
Evansville Otters
Everett AquaSox
Fayetteville Woodpeckers*
Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks
Fayetteville Astros*
Florence Freedom
Florida Fire Frogs*
Fort Myers Miracle
Fort Wayne TinCaps
Frederick Keys
Fresno Grizzlies*
Frisco RoughRiders
Gary SouthShore RailCats
Gateway Grizzlies
Generales de Durango*
Grand Junction Rockies
Great Falls Voyagers
Great Lakes Loons
Greeneville Reds
Greensboro Grasshoppers
Greenville Drive
Guerreros de Oaxaca
Gwinnett Stripers*
Hagerstown Suns
Harrisburg Senators
Hartford Yard Goats*
Hickory Crawdads
High Point Rockers
Hillsboro Hops
Hudson Valley Renegades*
Idaho Falls Chukars
Indianapolis Indians
Inland Empire 66ers*
Iowa Cubs
Jackson Generals
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp*
Johnson City Cardinals
Joliet Slammers
Jupiter Hammerheads
Kane County Cougars
Kannapolis Intimidators
Kansas City T-Bones
Kingsport Mets
Lake County Captains
Lake Elsinore Storm
Lake Erie Crushers
Lakeland Flying Tigers
Lakewood BlueClaws
Lancaster Barnstormers
Lancaster JetHawks
Lansing Lugnuts
Laredo Lemurs
Las Vegas 51s
Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Leones de Yucatán
Lexington Legends*
Lincoln Saltdogs
Long Beach Armada*
Long Island Ducks
Louisville Bats
Lowell Spinners*
Lynchburg Hillcats*
Mahoning Valley Scrappers
Memphis Redbirds
Midland RockHounds
Milwaukee Milkmen*
Mississippi Braves
Missoula Osprey
Mobile BayBears
Modesto Nuts
Montgomery Biscuits
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
Nashville Sounds*
New Britain Bees*
New Hampshire Fisher Cats
New Jersey Jackals
New Orleans Baby Cakes
Norfolk Tides
Normal CornBelters
Northwest Arkansas Naturals
Ogden Raptors*
Oklahoma City Dodgers
Olmecas de Tabasco
Omaha Storm Chasers
Orem Owlz
Ottawa Champions
Palm Beach Cardinals
Pawtucket Red Sox
Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Peoria Chiefs
Pericos de Puebla
Piratas de Campeche
Pittsburg Diamonds
Portland Sea Dogs
Potomac Nationals
Potros de Tijuana*
Princeton Rays
Pulaski Mariners*
Quad City River Bandits
Rancho Cucamonga Quakes
Reading Fightin Phils
Reno Aces
Richmond Flying Squirrels
Rieleros de Aguascalientes
River City Rascals
Rochester Red Wings
Rockland Boulders
Rocky Mountain Vibes
Rome Braves
Round Rock Express
Sacramento River Cats
Salem Red Sox
Salem-Keizer Volcanoes
Salt Lake Bees
San Antonio Missions
San Jose Giants
San Rafael Pacifics
Saraperos de Saltillo
Sarasota Reds*
Schaumburg Boomers
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders*
Sioux City Explorers
Sioux Falls Canaries
Somerset Patriots
Sonoma Stompers
South Bend Cubs
Southern Illinois Miners
Southern Maryland Blue Crabs
Spokane Indians
Springfield Cardinals
St. Lucie Mets
St. Paul Saints
State College Spikes
Staten Island Yankees
Stockton Ports
Sugar Land Skeeters
Sultanes de Monterrey
Sussex County Miners*
Syracuse Chiefs
Tacoma Rainiers*
Tampa Tarpons*
Tecolotes de los Dos Laredos*
Tennessee Smokies*
Texarkana Gunslingers*
Texas AirHogs
Tigres de Quintana Roo
Toledo Mud Hens
Toros de Tijuana*
Traverse City Beach Bums
Trenton Thunder
Tri-City Dust Devils
Tri-City ValleyCats
Tucson Padres
Tulsa Drillers
Vallejo Admirals*
Vancouver Canadians
Vermont Lake Monsters*
Visalia Rawhide
Washington Wild Things
West Michigan Whitecaps
West Virginia Black Bears
West Virginia Power
Williamsport Crosscutters
Wilmington Blue Rocks
Windy City Thunderbolts
Winnipeg Goldeyes
Winston-Salem Dash
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
York Revolution
Southern Illinois Miners 53

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Posted 2013 August 26

In the United states, when you think of coal you probably think of either Kentucky or West Virginia, or maybe Pennsylvania. You don't necessarily think of Illinois. It may surprise you, then, to learn that there are coal reserves under a bigger percentage of Illinois than Kentucky. Basically, if you're in Illinois and you're not near Chicago or the Mississippi River, you're over a coal deposit. Meanwhile, with the exception of a small patch near the Illinois border, there's no coal in the western two thirds of Kentucky. There's actually quite a history of coal mining in the southern part of Illinois. That's why this team went with the name "Miners". It's not the most imposing name, but it fits the area. More importantly, they avoided the temptation to call themselves the Southern Illinois Coal Kings, which would have been incredibly lame even if it did result in a fairly nifty set of initials.

That's not to say they have avoided lameness in every aspect. Their logo, for starters, is ridiculous. A miner with a thick, grey beard and arms that scream "steroid abuse" is holding a baseball bat that's been jury-rigged into being a pick axe, and he's swinging (left-handed...what is it with all the left-handed logos, anyway?) at a baseball bat which is embedded in coal. Ho hum, how original.

And then there are the mascots.

The mascots (note the plural) are either the most awful collection of mascots I've ever seen or the most awesome collection of mascots I've ever seen. Well, truth be told, they're probably both, because I don't think I've ever seen a team that had enough mascots to count as a "collection" before. The Miners have four, count 'em, four mascots. The first one is "Big John the Miner". That's a nice, basic mascot for a team called the Miners. It's hard to go wrong with a team called the Miners having a mascot who is a miner. But it quickly goes downhill.

Next we have "Grounder the Mole". Okay, so it hasn't gotten too bad yet, but this is a bit goofy. Moles, remember, have nothing to do with mines. Sure, they burrow around a lot and make tunnels just like miners do, but moles aren't making tunnels in coal mines. They're making tunnels in my back yard. There's not a coal mine within a hundred miles of my back yard. I get the thinking here, but they were reaching a bit. Couldn't they come up with something that relates more directly to mines? Like, oh, I don't know...

How about a canary? Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the next mascot is indeed the canary in the coal mine. His name is "Lucky the Canary", and if he hasn't fallen down dead yet then I guess we have to accept that he is indeed lucky. He's lucky I'm not in charge of the mascots, that's for certain. If I were in charge of the mascots (and here's some helpful advice to any team owners reading this: don't ever put me in charge of the mascots), then the first time the team was having a bad season I'd have "Lucky" die in a dramatic fashion during the seventh-inning stretch one night to send a message to the players. And I'd go overboard with it. I'd have six other people dress up in canary outfits, walk out to the now-deceased Lucky carrying a coffin, set Lucky in the coffin, and carry him back to the musical accompaniment of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh.

I know you don't actually get a coffin for a dead canary, but...well, what do you do, anyway? They're a bit too small to cremate (which is what my wife and I did for the three pets of ours who have died), but I think flushing down the toilet is reserved for bugs you've squished and the occasional goldfish. I actually tried to find out on the internet, and the results were more comical than they should have been. I ran across a Yahoo! Answers question about it. One person suggested — this was the answer with the most votes, in fact — "put his body into a sealable plastic bag, and put the bag in the garbage." To my way of thinking, flushing it down the toilet is almost more respectful. More than one person mentioned making sure the bird wasn't dead, which conjured in my mind images of John Cleese in the "Dead Parrot" sketch ("HELLO, MISTER POLLY PARROT!") as well as the joke that ends with the punchline, "BANG! 'Okay, now what?'"

(The generally-accepted answer, incidentally, seems to be that you bury it.)

For our last mascot — I promise you I am not making this up — there is "T.N.T. Dynamite". Yes, dear reader, we have a team that uses a bundle of explosives as a mascot. T.N.T. looks like a bundle of red dynamite sticks with a yellow band about two thirds of the way up, and on the band is a face that looks like Spongebob Squarepants on the day he goes postal and starts mowing down all of his coworkers (and I think we all know that day is coming; it's a question of when, not if). There are fuses coming out of the top, and they all meet at the top to form a bizarre crown of sorts. A crown of death. I know the link between TNT and mining is unquestionable, but this is still a truly bizarre mascot.

But you know what? I just came up with a great idea on precisely how we make Lucky die that dramatic death.

Final Score: 53 points.
Penalties: Region, 8 pts; Player, 51 pts.
Bonuses: Local, -6 pts.

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