Twinkies and Devil Dogs: Renaming Every Team In Major League Baseball
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?
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.
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.
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.
Photo via CBSSports
Atlanta Braves --> The Atlanta Bravos : It's 2013 - due time to stop being racist. Here, we conveniently replace the stadium's famous tomahawks with a better cheer.
Miami Marlins --> The Fish : Self-explanatory, but just LOOK at that picture of Ryan Webb with a fish.
New York Mets --> The Amazin's : This nickname, coined by Casey Stengel - manager of their inaugural season, is boring but we'll let them have it. They don't have much.
Philadelphia Phillies --> The Broad Street Bellies : Alternatively, the Phat Phillies. A play on the Flyers' nickname, the Broad Street Bullies, given to the 1993 NL championship team, who probably could have eaten less cheesesteaks.
Washington Nationals --> The Blue Legs : A name seemingly inexplicably given to a Washington franchise for just one season in 1873. Weird year.
Photo via BoozeBlogger
Chicago Cubs --> Chicago Orphans : A nickname given to the team from 1898-1902, once their "Pop," veteran player Adrian Anson, left the team. Some newspapers instead called them the "Remnants."
Cincinnati Reds --> The Big Red Machine : In the 1970s, the team won six divisional titles, four pennants, and two World Series, earning them this nickname.
Milwaukee Brewers --> Harvey's Wallbangers : The 1982 AL-pennant-winning team was managed by Harvey Kuenn. It's also a drink, appropriate for the only major league team named after alcohol. We hope they bring back the beer slide.
Pittsburgh Pirates --> Pittsburgh Innocents : Before they were accused of "pirating" other teams' players, they were accused of being innocent of victorious aspirations, earning them this name. Pittsburgh can't catch a break.
St. Louis Cardinals --> St. Louis Perfectos : In 1899, overly-optimistic press gave the team this nickname in hoping their performance would follow suit of their lofty nickname. They moved from twelfth to fifth.
Photo via eBay
Arizona Diamondbacks --> Phoenix Firebirds : The Phoenix Firebirds were a minor league team during parts of the second half of the 20th century. We like the name's redundancy, and also, we already told you how we feel about the D-Backs.
Colorado Rockies --> Todd and the Toddlers: In 2005, the team attempted to rebuild by filling their rosters with rookies from their farm system, retaining only veteran Todd Helton.
Los Angelas Dodgers --> The Lords of Flatbush : A callback to when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn, tugging on the heartstrings of every Williamsburg hipster.
San Diego Padres --> The Friars : "Padre" means father in Spanish, but we still think this is a pretty silly mascot. Still looking at you, though, Rays.
San Francisco Giants --> The Gyros : We really want to name a team after food, if you haven't caught on yet. This nickname seems just the right way.
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