Origin of Minor League team names: G

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:


Grand Junction Rockies:
Team owned by and operated by the Colorado Rockies. Which explains the name.

Great Falls Voyagers:
After the club signed an PDC with the Chicago White Sox, the club decided to change the name. The principal reason for adopting the new name was to better reflect the team’s association with and commitment to the Great Falls community. An big study of possible names was undertaken by a special committee. After considering numerous possibilities, Voyagers was chosen because of its connection to Legion Park. In 1950, Nick Mariana, the general manager of the Great Falls Baseball team, filmed two silvery objects above the ball park. The Mariana film is one of the strongest cases supporting the existence of UFO’s.

Great Lake Loons:
In January 2006, it was confirmed that the Devil Rays would be sold to the non-profit Michigan Baseball Foundation and relocated to Midland, Michigan. The team has been renamed the Great Lakes Loons after a name-the –team contest that received entries as far from Arizona and California. The main reason the team relocated was because of the lack of interest from the Battle Creek community. A loon is a migrating bird that lives in the area of the Great Lakes (Lake Michigan to name one).

Greeneville Astros:
After over 60 years without professional baseball, Greeneville, Tennessee got a team when the Martinsville Astros of the Appalachian League became the Greeneville Astros in 2004.

Greensboro Grasshoppers:
When the Greensboro team moved into their new stadium, they changed the name to Grasshoppers. It is one of the many name changes the Greensboro teams have had over the decades. The team took the opportunity to rebrand with a new name, logo and colors. Grasshoppers has no real significance to the area. The club just thought it had a good ring with Greensboro and they are able to be creative with the name/logo.
I would like to thank Katie Dannemiller of the Grasshoppers, who mailed the information above.

Greenville Drive:
After the team switched to the Red Sox as parent club, the team decided that it was time for a name change too. On October 27, 2005, the club’s brass announced that the team’s name would change to the Drive. The name was chosen due to the presence of BMW US Manufacturing and Michelin in the area and, more generally, due to Greenville’s rich automotive past. Residents have criticized the new name for its lack of historical relevance and failure to reflect community traditions.

Gwinnett Braves:
One of the many teams owned and run by the Atlanta Braves and named after the parent club.

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