Twinkies and Devil Dogs: Renaming Every Team In Major League Baseball

  • SportsGrid Staff

As Opening Day unfolded this week baseball fans once again prepared for a season of unanswered questions: Who allowed the Arizona D-Backs to have that nickname? Are they really still named the Cleveland Indians and Atlanta Braves? Why does California have five teams? Okay, let’s say I have a few hundred million bones to toss around: what city would I pick and what would I name my baseball team?

This last question can lead to a long night of soul searching, because a new MLB team is rarer than the Astros being worth taking seriously. And unless you’re the Newark Peppers, this is a team that could be a part of sports culture for a long time. The opportunity to name a sports team is the opportunity to leave a legacy, to intimidate your opponents, and to not have this thing as your mascot.

You can’t treat this like the goofball choices of the minor leagues where names like The Flying Tigers, The Nuts, The Biscuits, and The Tourists are standard fare. Or even worse, like the Triple-A Mexican League where there’s a team called the Saraperos de Saltillo (the Spanish word for a person who makes blankets). You have to name your team after something sweet like the practice of pirating players from other teams.

To help you in your brainstorm, we now present a list of better names for current teams. Each name is based on the lineage of the team and is assured to elevate the MLB into the next level of greatness. In a related note, does anyone want to invest a few million in the Louisville Sluggers or the Portland Dragons?

AL East

Photo via Amazon

Boston Red Sox –> The Boston Beaneaters : From the 1880s to 1908, the team used this name, a term for residents of Boston based on the staple dish of baked beans. Good for your heart.
Baltimore Orioles –> The Baltimore Oreos : A sort-of homophone! Also a cookie! Wikipedia says this nickname is “often used by older fans.”
New York Yankees –> Murderers’ Row : A reference to the first six hitters in the 1927 lineup, who would murder opponents’ pitching. Not literally.
Tampa Bay Rays –> Tampa Bay Devil Dogs : A Hostess product, a motivational nickname for a marine, and also apparently a nickname for baseball’s silliest team. We honestly don’t know; you connect the dots.
Toronto Blue Jays –> Toronto LaBats : The team got their name from the beer Labatt’s Blue, as Labatt Breweries was an original owner of the Toronto franchise. We say LaBats because we’re good at puns and all Canadians are French.

AL Central

Photo via Yahoo Sports

Chicago White Sox –> South Side Hitmen: In 1977, the Chicago White Sox were not very good at catching, running, throwing, or pitching, but they could hit.
Cleveland Indians –> Cleveland Naps : Named after star player and team captain Napoleon Lajoie, determined by a newspaper write-in contest. Also, can someone bring the name Napoleon back?
Detroit Tigers –> Motor City Kitties : Detroit was the heart of the automotive industry. Tigers are felines. These alternative monikers conveniently rhyme.
Kansas City Royals –> The Big Blue Bus : Apparently, their 1977 slogan was “we’re riding the big blue bus.” And as we all know, you’re either on the bus or off the bus.
Minnesota Twins –> The Minnesota Twinkies : A familiar nickname. Look, all we’re saying is that it’s been a good year for Hostess, and maybe it’s time they expand to the Major Leagues.

AL West

Houston Astros –> Houston Colt .45s : From 1962 to 1965, the team used the name the Colt .45s after the firearms company, or more familiarly, the Colts to skirt legal issues, though they still used the Colt .45 logo. They also were still bad then.
Los Angeles Angels –> The Halos : The halo is a prominent part of the team logo and stadium. “I can see your halo.” – Beyonce.
Oakland Athletics –> The Oakland Acorns : Their former minor league team was the Oakland Oaks (really), and sometimes alternatively the Acorns. When they attempted to rid themselves of the Philadelphia Athletics’ reputation, they used A’s as a shortened name and a callback to that team.
Seattle Mariners –> The Seattle Pilots : In 1969, the Pilots (named after Puget Sound marine activities) represented a one-year failed attempt to expand the American League to Seattle. They moved to Milwaukee in 1970, and baseball didn’t return to Seattle until 1977.
Texas Rangers –> The Texas Senators : In 1961, an expansion version of the Washington Senators moved to Texas. They didn’t become the Rangers until 1972.

NEXT: Our fearless correspondents tackle National League naming.