Origins of Minor League team names, a reprise: B

Back in 2014, I wrote a series of blog posts about the origin of minor league team names. Since then, the minor league landscape has changed a lot. Clubs moved, adopted new names. All reasons to have a new series in which the new names are added and explained. This time the letter B. 


Batavia Muckdogs:
The Muckdogs were founded in 1939 as the Batavia Clippers. The franchise suspended operations from 1954-1956. The franchise returned to play in 1957 and was renamed Batavia Indians. The team has gone through more name changes after that which were Batavia Pirates in 1961, Batavia Trojans in 1966, Batavia Clippers again in 1988, and finally “Batavia Muckdogs” in 1999. The franchise also suspended operations for the 1960 season as well. Prior to the 1997 season, the Muckdogs were called the Batavia Clippers. A fan poll picked both the current name and logo.

Beloit Snappers:
The Beloit team adapted the Snappers nickname in 1995 after using the parent team’s nickname for its first 13 seasons. The name derives from the snapping turtle because Beloit was formerly known as Turtle Village and there is still a Turtle Creek and a town of Turtle. All of these are named for a turtle-shaped Indian mound on the campus of Beloit College.

Billings Mustangs:
When the club was established in 1948, a name the team contest was held and this name ended up as the winner. a Western theme of a Western club.

Binghampton Rumble Ponies:
Another new name in this list.
After a lot of rumors about the team moving elsewhere, the club presented a plan in 2016 to stay in Binghamton and to change the name. The club organized a name the team contest and Rumble Ponies was the name picked by the fans out of five finalists. The other four were: Bullheads, Rocking Horses, Stud Muffins and Timber Jockeys.
Rumble Ponies is a nod to the nickname of Carousel Capital of the World the city of Binghamton has.

Birmingham Barons:
The name Birmingham Barons can be traced back to previous teams with the name: 1885 (Coal) Barons, 1901 and 1964 (in the newly formed Southern League). After the Montgomery Rebels moved to Birmingham the team opted the name Barons again.

Bluefield Blue Jays:
The Blue Field teams over the years adopted the names of their parent teams. After the Baltimore Orioles decided to move their team (the Blue Field Orioles) in 2010, the Blue Jays jumped in and moved their rookie team to Blue Field.

Boise Hawks:
I cannot find a proper explanation for the team’s name.

Bowie Baysox:
A contest was held among the community to choose a new name for the team, and over 3,500 suggestions poured in. “Baysox” was chosen over the other finalists, which were “BayBirds” and “Nationals” (the latter was also chosen for the nearby Washington major-league team when it moved to the area in 2005). The “Bay” references are to the Chesapeake Bay, which lies less than 20 miles to the east of Bowie.

Bowling Green Hot Rods:
The “Hot Rods” name refers to the connections that Bowling Green has to the automotive and racing industries such as the National Corvette Museum, Holley Carburetor, Beech Bend Raceway, and the Bowling Green Assembly Plant, which is the only location in the world that produces General Motors’ Chevrolet Corvette.

Bradenton Marauders:
In 2009, the Pittsburgh Pirates purchased the Sarasota Reds and moved them to their ST complex in Bradenton. A marauder is another word for a pirate, so that choice wasn’t too hard to make.

Bristol Pirates:
There has been affiliated ball in Bristol since 1969. The team has had three affiliations and adapted to the parent club’s name. Since October 2013 they’re affiliated to the Pittsburgh Pirates who also own the club.

Brooklyn Cyclones:
A “name-the-team” contest was held to determine a new name for the franchise. The winning selection, Cyclones, refers to the famous Coney Island Cyclone roller coaster at nearby Astroland amusement park on Coney Island.

Buffalo Bisons:
The name Bisons dates back to earlier Bisons teams in the late 1800s. The history of teams known as the Buffalo Bisons dates to a major league club, the Buffalo Bisons of the National League, who played from 1879 to 1885. In 1886, the Bisons moved into minor league baseball as members of the original International League. (An “outlaw” team also known as the Buffalo Bisons also played in the Players’ League, an upstart third major league, in 1890, but that team is not currently considered part of the Bisons’ history.) This team joined the Western League in 1899 and was within weeks of becoming a major league team when the Western League announced it was changing its name to the American League in 1900. However, by the start of the 1901 season, Buffalo had been bumped from the league in favor of the Boston Americans; the Bisons returned to the minors that year.

Burlington Bees:
It is not clear why the Burlington team is called the Bees, but the name can be traced back to 1924. Through the years, the Burlington club adopted several names, mainly those of their parent clubs, but the Bees nickname was revived for the 1993 season.

Burlington Royals:
Since 1986, there is affiliated ball in Burlington NC. The team adopted the nickname of their parent club the Indians. In 2007 the Royals took over as parent club and since then the Burlington club adopted that name.

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