Origin of Minor League team names: P

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:


Palm Beach Cardinals:
The Palm Beach Cardinals are owned and operated by the St. Louis Cardinals. So like many MLB clubs owning MiLB teams, the team is named after the parent club.

Pawtucket Red Sox:
The Triple-A team that is now the Pawtucket Red Sox was long ago the International League franchise Toronto Maple Leafs. After the American Association and its Louisville Colonels franchise folded in 1962 and the American League owners voted down Charlie O. Finley’s agreement to move the Kansas City A’s to Louisville in 1964, Louisville was ready for the return of baseball. In 1968 the Maple Leafs, the Red Sox’ top minor league club since 1965, were bought by Walter J. Dilbeck and moved to Louisville where they became the new Louisville Colonels, the Triple-A franchise of the Boston Red Sox. While in Louisville, star players included Carlton Fisk (1971), Dwight Evans (1972) and Cecil Cooper (1972). The Louisville Colonels made the International League playoffs in 1969 and 1972. However, in 1972 the Kentucky State Fair Board, which operated Fairgrounds Stadium, where the Colonels played, decided to convert the facility to primarily be laid out for football, though the stadium was later used by the latter-day Louisville Redbirds club. Following the 1972 season the Louisville Colonels moved to Pawtucket and became the Pawtucket Red Sox.

One of the alternate logos of the PawSox

Pensacola Blue Wahoos:
Before moving to Pensacola in 2012, the team was located in Zebulon NC as the Carolina Mudcats. Owner of the Indy Pensacola Pelicans sold that team, bought the Mudcats and moved it to Pensacola. The Blue Wahoos nickname was decided in a fan contest run by Wendy’s (quality is our recipe) in conjunction with the Pensacola News Journal.

Peoria Chiefs:
The team’s inaugural year in Peoria was 1983, as the Peoria Suns, a California Angels farm team that replaced the Angels’ previous Midwest League farm team, the Danville Suns. The following year, the team was given the more traditional name “Chiefs”, in reference to the Peoria tribe for which the city was named.

Portland Seadogs:
After being awarded an Eastern League franchise in 1992, the name was selected from over 600 entries in a name the team contest. The logo quickly became one of the most popular in Minor League baseball.

Potomac Nationals:
The team started as Alexandria in 1978 before moving to Woodbridge. Since then the team has adopted several names and adopting the name of the parent club is not strange to this minor league team. It changed it’s name after several parent clubs: Mariners, Yankees and Pirates. After the Washington Nationals came to town as their parent club, they swiftly changed names from Potomac Cannons to Potomac Nationals.

Princeton Rays:
The Princeton Rays are Tampa Bay’s rookie team in the Appalachian League. The team is owned and run by the MLB team, which explains the name.

Pulaski Mariners:
The Pulaski teams were always willing to adopt the name of the parent club. The teams that played here were the Pulaski Blue Jays, Rangers and Braves to name a few. After a year without affiliated ball, the Seattle Mariners jumped in in 2008 and the team named itself after another parent club. At the end of the season, the Mariners announced that they will pull their Appalachian League team, thus leaving Pulaski with a void. But within a couple of days the  New York Yankees jumped in. So the 2015 Pulaski team will be named…. Yankees.

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