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.
This time the letter:
The Nashville Sounds are named for the city’s association with the (country) music industry.
New Britain Rock Cats:
Where did this name come from? What caused the owner Joe Buzas to pick such an unusual mascot? Perhaps it was a nickname the team picked up playing next to Bristol’s Rockwell Park in the 1970s and 1980s? Playing in Hardware City possibly alludes to something hard (i.e. rocks) but a theory like that seems somewhat awkwardly off base. Perhaps the name has less to do with actual “rocks” and more with rock music. The original logo of the team portrays a cat strumming an electric guitar. Perhaps Joe Buzas had an appreciation for rock music (and cats) that he decided to uniquely combine into one product. Or perhaps the answer is that the nickname really has no meaning and it is simply open to interpretation from all fans alike? Ultimately, it just might be one of those things that has no right or wrong answer. One thing is clear: Its unusualness cannot be traced exclusively to one particular source or story.
New Hampshire Fisher Cats:
On November 6, 2003, the new management unveiled the New Hampshire Primaries name and logo, which featured an elephant and a donkey holding baseball bats, and was to be used starting in the 2004 season. The management stated that they felt it reflected a unique aspect of the state, since the New Hampshire primary, held every four years, signifies the start of the Presidential election process. Immediately, the name and logo were widely criticized. An online petition was created by two local baseball fans asking the team ownership to reconsider their decision and was covered by local newspapers, radio, and television stations. This coverage was led by a front-page article in the New Hampshire Union Leader, New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, on Sunday November 9, 2003. By the afternoon of November 10, over 1200 unique visitors had signed the petition. Later in the day, the team announced that they would not use the Primaries name after all and that they would seek public opinion on a new name.
On November 13, 2003, the team announced the “Name the Team” contest which had three phases over the following weeks. During the first phase, fans submitted suggestions. During the second phase, fans ranked their top five favorite names from the suggestions. For the final phase, fans voted for their single favorite among the top five names from the second round. On December 3, the final voting results were announced: New Hampshire Fisher Cats (1,574 votes – 24.5%), Manchester Millers (1,552 votes – 24.1%), Granite State Mountain Men (1,382 vote – 21.5%), New Hampshire Granite (1,302 votes – 20.2%), and New Hampshire Primaries (627 votes – 9.7%). The ultimate source of the name is from the fisher, often called a fisher cat in New Hampshire. On January 22, 2004, the team unveiled the new set of logos that would be used for the name New Hampshire Fisher Cats. All of the team’s logos and fonts were created and designed by Studio Simon of Louisville, Kentucky. Team colors were green, black, silver, and bronze.
New Orleans Zephyrs:
The history of the New Orleans dates back for over a hundred years. The were located in two cities before moving to New Orleans and had three different monikers. When in Denver, the team was called the Bears first. In 1985 the team was renamed Zephyrs after the famous Denver passenger train. After the team moved to New Orleans, it decided to keep the name.
The franchise began its history in the South Atlantic League in 1961 as the Tidewater Tides, playing at Lawrence Stadium in Portsmouth. The main newspaper of South Hampton Roads, The Virginian-Pilot, ran a contest to determine the team name. Although the chosen name was “Mariners,” the Pilot′s editor overruled the contest, deciding he liked the alliteration of “Tidewater Tides.”
Northwest Arkansas Naturals:
Before the team became the Naturals it was named the Wichita Wranglers. The new moniker Naturals refers to the nickname of the state of Arkansas: the Natural State.