These 11 Sports Team Name Origins Are Not What You Thought

  • David Gonos


The whole idea of a team name added on to a city’s name for a team is weird in itself, if you think about it. Why can’t the team names just be the Baltimore Baseball Club, or the Cleveland Football Club? At one  point, they might have been, but fans wanted something more to relate to, and that’s not even taking into account the merchandising and marketing that came into play in the second half of the 20th century.

Through the years, there are a lot of sports team name origins that we might have just taken for granted in how they were named. For instance, without even reading up on it, you can guess that the Boston Red Sox were named so because their players wore red socks in the late 1800s. Or with a team like the Houston Texans, it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out they were named the Texans because that’s what residents of Houston (and the rest of the state) are called.

I’ve been doing several articles on sports team names and logos over the past few weeks, including hidden things in sports logos, NFL (almost) weird team names and NBA (almost) strange team names. But as I’m learning about the team names and their origins, I have discovered several that I assumed were one thing, only to find out they had that team name for a completely different reason.

11 Sports Team Name Origins Different Than What You Thought

Depending on your age and where you live, you might already know the name origins for some of these teams. But for the most part, even the most ardent sports fan will be surprised by more than half of them. Most of this information was taken from Wikipedia and

Photo Credit: Noah Graham, Getty Images

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David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about sports online since 2001, including,,, and