The 25 Coolest Minor League Baseball Team Names

Brandon McClintockCorrespondent IAugust 29, 2011

The 25 Coolest Minor League Baseball Team Names

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    Aside from being the home of the stars of the future that we will enjoy watching on our favorite teams for years to come, the minor leagues are all about cheesiness and entertainment.

    Whether in the form of wacky promotions or between-innings entertainment, the whole minor league experience is one big production.

    One of the wackiest, and greatest, things associated with minor league baseball are the team names.

    Here is my list of the 25 greatest minor league names.

     

    Feel free to add your top-25 list or any omissions in the comment section below.

25) Vermont Lake Monsters

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    The Vermont Lake Monsters are a Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics in the New York-Penn League.

    The name "Lake Monsters" is another result of a "name-the-team" contest. The alternate option was "Green Mountain Boys." I'm not sure which is better, to be honest with you...

    The Lake Monsters just became an affiliate of the A's this season. They were previously the minor league affiliate of the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals from 1994-2010.

24) Montgomery Biscuits

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    The Montgomery Biscuits are a Double-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays in the Southern League.

    I selected this team name because of its seeming randomness.

    It turns out that the name was selected by Montgomery's owner from a "name-the-team" contest.

    His reason for choosing the name was because he liked the marketing and pun possibilities such as "Hey, Butter, Butter, Butter" and the team's souvenir store, the "Biscuit Basket."

    The Biscuits have been a minor league affiliate of the Rays since 1999.

23) Jamestown Jammers

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    I admit, I picked the Jamestown Jammers because I wanted to put them right after the Montgomery Biscuits.

    Yum, Biscuits and Jam.

    The Jammers are the Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins in the New York-Penn League.

    The team earned their nickname in a fan vote, something I have a feeling we will begin to see as a common theme in this slide-show.

    They have been an affiliate of the Marlins since 2002.

22) Kannapolis Intimidators

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    The Kannapolis Intimidators are a Class Low-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox in the South Atlantic League.

    With a name like the Intimidators, the White Sox may be trying to instill some confidence and swagger in their players at the low levels of the minors, or maybe they just adopted the name after the nickname given to their former owner, Dale Earnhardt.

    Earnhardt, "The Intimidator," purchased the team back in 2000, at the time they were a Philadelphia Phillies minor league affiliate.

    They have been associated with the White Sox since 2001.

21) Clinton LumberKings

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    Clinton is one of the longest established minor-league franchises in existence.

    They joined the Midwest League in 1954 and have gone through several name changes and affiliations since that time.

    They adopted the name "LumberKings" in 1994 and have kept the title since.

    The team used to adopt the name of their major league sponsor prior to 1994.

    Since 2009, they have been the Class-A minor league affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.

20) Fort Wayne TinCaps

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    The Fort Wayne TinCaps are a Class-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres in the Midwest League.

    The team adopted their name to begin the 2009 season alluding to John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed.

    The tin cap is a reference to a fictionalized depiction of Johnny Appleseed wearing a tin cooking pot on his head in the 1948 Disney movie, Johnny Appleseed.

    The team has been a minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres since 1999.

19) Savannah Sand Gnats

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    Can you seriously not start laughing at this name?

    The Savannah Sand Gnats are the Class-A affiliate team of the New York Mets in the South Atlantic League.

    They have been known as the Sand Gnats dating back to 1996 after changing their name from the Savannah Cardinals.

    They became a Mets affiliate in 2007.

18) Inland Empire 66ers

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    The Inland Empire 66ers are the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

    The 66ers play in the California League.

    The team adopted their name after the famous Route 66 that runs through San Bernardino, where the team is located.

    They just became an affiliate of the Angels this season after previously being affiliated with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2007-2010.

17) Auburn Doubledays

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    The Auburn Doubledays are a Short-Season Class-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals in the New York-Penn League.

    The team is named after Abner Doubleday, a Civil War general and Auburn native who is often credited with inventing the game of baseball.

    You can see why I like the name, even if he is only mistakenly credited as the founder of the game, a claim he never personally made.

    The team has played in the New York-Penn League dating back to 1958.

    They became the Doubledays in 1996.

16) South Bend Silver Hawks

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    The South Bend Silver Hawks are a Class-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Midwest League.

    The team name is in reference to the Studebaker Silver Hawk, a car that was once manufactured in South Bend.

    The team has been the minor league affiliate of the Diamondbacks since 1997.

15) Omaha Storm Chasers

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    The Omaha Storm Chasers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals in the Pacific Coast League.

    They just adopted the name "Storm Chasers" this season. They were previously the Omaha Royals from 1967-1997 and again from 2002-2010.

    They became the "Storm Chasers" after a fan vote to pick the new name, as well as vote on finalists.

    They have been a Kansas City Royals affiliate continuously since 1967.

14) Bowling Green Hot Rods

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    I admit, I am a bit of a car guy, so of course the Bowling Green Hot Rods are one of the top minor league team names (in my opinion).

    The Hot Rods are a Class-A team of the Tampa Bay Rays in the Midwest League.

    Their name originated from the connection the town of Bowling Green, Ky., has to the automotive and racing industries.

    They used to be a minor league affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers before becoming affiliated with the Rays in 2007.

13) West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx

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    I decided to grandfather-in the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx.

    The team changed their name this year to the Jackson Generals, a reflection of the original minor league team that played in Jackson in the early part of the 20th century.

    Regardless, the West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx and their new identity, the Generals, are the Double-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in the Southern League.

    The team has been affiliated with the Mariners since 2007.

12) Colorado Springs Sky Sox

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    The Colorado Springs Sky Sox are the Triple-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies in the Pacific Coast League.

    The Sky Sox nickname originated from their affiliation with the White Sox back in the 1950's and the teams location in the high-altitude Rockie Mountains.

    The Sky Sox have been the only Triple-A affiliate for the Rockies since they entered the league in 1993.

11) Quad Cities River Bandits

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    One of my favorite minor league team names.

    The Quad Cities River Bandits are the Class-A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals in the Midwest League.

    The nickname "River Bandits" was chosen in another "name-the-team" contest, a theme that seems common in minor league baseball.

    Their current affiliation with the Cardinals has lasted since 2005.

10) Richmond Flying Squirrels

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    The Richmond Flying Squirrels are a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants in the Eastern League.

    The Flying Squirrels obtained their name in a public "name-the-team" contest in 2009.

    Although the team has not been continually named the Flying Squirrels, or located in Richmond, Va., they have remained an affiliate of the Giants since 2003.

9) New Orleans Zephyrs

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    The New Orleans Zephyrs are another franchise that has been around since the early 1900's, in fact, 1901 to be exact.

    The Zephyrs are the Triple-A affiliate of the Florida Marlins in the Pacific Coast League.

    I have to admit, I don't exactly know why the Zephyrs' mascot is a beaver; or is that a badger?

    Regardless, the team has a rich history and has maintained their current name dating back to 1985 (prior to that they were known as the Kansas City Blues and Denver Bears.

    Their current affiliation with the Marlins dates back to 2009.

8) Las Vegas 51's

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    The Las Vegas 51's is another personal favorite of mine.

    The Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays in the Pacific Coast League adopted their name after the famous "Area 51" which is located about 80 miles north of Las Vegas.

    Almost poking fun at the local hysteria surrounding UFO's and government alien coverup conspiracies, the team has a grey alien as their mascot.

    The team has been affiliated with the Blue Jays since 2009. They were previously affiliated with the Dodgers and Padres.

7) Toledo Mud Hens

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    The Toledo Mud Hens are the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, playing in the International League.

    The team has used the name "Mud Hens" every season dating back to 1965. They also used the name Mud Hens from 1902-1913 and 1919-1952.

    The team also has an extensive history of affiliation with the Tigers. They have been the Tigers Triple-A affiliate dating back to 1987, although they were also affiliated with the Tigers from 1934-1935, 1949-1951 and 1967-1973.

6) Reno Aces

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    The Reno Aces are a Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    They got their name because of the association with the town of Reno to gambling, although there is also a baseball angle to the name as well.

    "Ace" not only refers to the top card in a game of poker, it is also the term for the top pitcher on a team (not that you didn't already know that, though).

    The Aces play in the Pacific Coast League and have been associated with the Diamondbacks organization dating back to 1998 when they were known as the Tucson Sidewinders.

    They moved to Reno and became the Aces in 2009.

5) Chattanooga Lookouts

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    The Chattanooga Lookouts are currently the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Southern League.

    The Lookouts are one of the oldest teams in the league, having played in the Southern League off-and-on since 1885.

    They have kept the name "Lookouts" the entire time from 1885-present.

    The Lookouts have been affiliated with the Dodgers since 2009. They were formerly the Reds affiliate from 1987-2008.

4) Round Rock Express

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    The Round Rock Express is the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers in the Pacific Coast League.

    The Express earned their name in honor of Nolan Ryan, "The Ryan Express."

    The team was founded by Reid Ryan, the Hall of Famer's son, and has remained under Ryan ownership since its founding.

    The team became a Rangers affiliate beginning this season.

3) Albuquerque Isotopes

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    The Albuquerque Isotopes are the Triple-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Pacific Coast League.

    This team got their name from the fictional Springfield Isotopes in TV's The Simpsons.

    And thus, the reason they make my list as one of the best minor league names.

    D'OH!

    The team has been affiliated with the Dodgers since 2009. They were previously affiliated with the Florida Marlins from 2003-2008.

2) Frisco Rough Riders

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    The Frisco RoughRiders are the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers in the Texas League.

    The RoughRiders earned their nickname in honor of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment during the Spanish-American War.

    The American press bestowed the name "Rough Riders" on the group, led by President-to-be Theodore Roosevelt.

    The RoughRiders have been a Rangers affiliate dating back to 2003.

1) Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs

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    The Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs are easily one of the most creative and best names in minor league baseball.

    The Iron Pigs are the Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies in the International League.

    The name Iron Pigs is in reference to pig iron, which is used in the manufacturing of steel. The Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania is world-renowned for their steel manufacturing.

    The Iron Pigs were previously known as the Ottawa Lynx from 1993-2007 before relocating to Lehigh Valley.

    They have been a minor league affiliate of the Phillies since the 2007 season.