Since 2004 I am addicted to Minor League baseball. Not that it is easy to attend a game when you live in the Netherlands, but I love the way those clubs are more focused on families, children and the related entertainment.
In 2008 I attended my first Minor League game at Adelanto, CA. The High Desert Mavericks (A Advanced affiliate of the Mariners) hosted the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes (then an Angels affiliate, now part of the Dodgers organization) in a California League matchup. Since then I am in love.
I thought it would be nice to post the explanations of how teams got their names. Something that I have done for a couple of baseball forums already. I hope you like it.
This time the letter:
Fort Myers Miracle:
The current Fort Myers Miracle franchise dates back to 1962 when the team was established in Miami to become the Phillies Florida State League affiliate. The team was named after the Marlins, which had been a AAA team. In 1989 the team was renamed Miami Miracle after a new ownergroup (that inlcuded Bill Murray) purchased the team. The team was sold again in 1990 and was moved a couple of times before it moved to Fort Myers again in 1992, when the Florida Marlins came to Miami. The team is located in Fort Myers until today.
Fort Wayne TinCaps:
Prior to the 2009 season, the team was known as the Fort Wayne Wizards. The name TinCaps was chosen following the 2008 season, referring John Chapman, better known as the cooking pot-wearing Johnny Appleseed. The Tin Cap refers to a fictionalized depiction of John Chapman wearing one in the 1948 Walt Disney movie “Johnny Appleseed” and is not supported by any historical facts.Chapman lived in Fort Wayne in his final years and is buried in the city.
They are named after Francis Scott Key, the poet who wrote the lyrics of the US National Anthem, whose hometown was Frederick.
The team name for the Grizzlies was actually chosen nearly 4 years before the team even played an official game in Fresno. On April 11, 1994, John Carbray, the president of the original Grizzlies ownership Fresno Diamond Group, announced the name for the franchise that had to be acquired.Fresno and the surrounding area has always used its proximity to the Yosemite National Park as a tourist attraction. Carbray learned in his research that “Yosemite” evolved from “Jusmites,” which is the word the Miwok tribe used to describe actual grizzly bears.For Carbray, he wanted something strong but cuddly and comfortable for the kids and representative of the Central San Joaquin Valley.
Other choices that were rejected were Heat, Suns and Flames. The ownership group did not like these names because they were a reminder of the Central Valley’s hot summer weather (which can consistently reach over 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
“The Rough Riders” was the name given by the American press to the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry Regiment during the Spanish-American War, headed by future American President Theodore Roosevelt. The team was named after a historical division in order to comply with the tradition of the major league affiliate, the Texas Rangers, who were named after the Texas Ranger Division.