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:
The name Suns apeared in 1981 when when Lou Eliopulos purchased the Rocky Mount Pines Class A Carolina League franchise, moved them to Hagerstown. It is not quite clear where the name comes from but Elio is Greek for sun, so it may very well be that Eliopulos named the team after himself. After the Suns moved to Frederick in 1989 to become the Keys, Hagerstown would not be left without pro ball. The Pittsfield Cubs moved to Hagerstown and adopted the name Suns again.
The history of the Harrisburg Senators dates back to 1976 when the Berkshire Brewers saw life as a Milwauke affiliate.
Until 1983 the team moved several times and adopted the moniker of the parent club.
During the mid 1980s, Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed initiated a revitalization plan that included a ballpark for a new Minor League Baseball team in the city. This ballpark, named Riverside Stadium attracted the Pittsburgh Pirates, which moved the Nashua Pirates to Harrisburg. The team was renamed the Harrisburg Senators, in a nod to the old Senators franchise of 1924.
In 1978 Helena joined the Pioneer League as a Phillies affiliation, giving Helena a professional baseball team for the first time in 64 years. In 1984, the Helena Gold Sox won the Pioneer League Championship, a rarity for an independent club. The team hooked on with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1985 and changed its name to the Helena Brewers in 1987. Helena won the PL championship in back-to-back seasons in 1995 and 1996. The franchise moved to Provo, Utah after the 2000 season. In 2003, the Medicine Hat Blue Jays moved to Helena, and the team became a Brewers affiliate again.
Upon purchasing a minor league baseball team from Gastonia, North Carolina, Don Beaver moved the team to his hometown of Hickory, North Carolina. Todd Teague named the team “Hickory Crawdads. A Crawdad is a lobster like creature of the Cambaridae family. The Cambaridae has thrived in North Carolina rivers and ponds for millenniums.
High Desert Mavericks:
Mavericks are rebels or outsiders. When the team settled the club wanted a western theme. That is how the name Mavericks came up.
The Hillsboro Hops came to Hillsboro in 2013 after the Yakima Bears decided to move. The name Hops is linked to the plant that is used in the beer brewing industry. Oregon is one of the largest hop producing states in the US. The word hop is also baseball related: bad hop, short hop, crow hop.
Hudson Valley Renegades:
Back in the winter of 93′, the Renegades had a name the team contest and the Renegades was the winner. Renegades was chosen due to the historic reference of West Point being so close and the Revolutionary War… we were known as being “Renegades”.A big thanks goes to Mrs. Corinne Adams of the HV Renegades.
The Stars are named for the space industry with which Huntsville is economically tied (NASA conducts operations at the nearby Marshall Space Flight Center).