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.
Even though there are no additions to this letter, this time the letter:
This rookie ball team is affiliated to the Twins since the first day of it’s existence. The team simply chose to adapt the parent team’s name. Besides that, the team is owned by the parent club.
El Paso Chihuahuas: The El Paso Chihuahuas started playing as the Padres’ AAA affiliation in 2014. The name Chihuahuas was chosen in a name-the-team contest Finalists were Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Chihuahuas, Desert Gators and Sun Dogs. El Paso is situated at the border of te Mexican province Chihuahua, where the little dogs come from.
The “SeaWolves” name refers to Erie’s location along Lake Erie and their former affiliation with the Pittsburgh Pirates, especially since the term “sea wolf” is a historical synonym of “pirate.”
The name Emeralds refer to the area Eugene is located at. It is called the Emerald Valley.
The Emeralds are around minor league baseball since 1955. Most of the time they have been playing in the short A Northwest League, but from 1969 through 1973 the team was the AAA (Pacific Coast League) team of the Phillies. Since 2013 the Emeralds have a new logo featuring the Sasquatch or Big Foot, which is believed to live in this area.
New Emeralds Logo Previous Emeralds Logo
The Sox part was sort of a play on traditional baseball names like “Red Sox” and “White Sox.” In addition to being a color, the Aqua part is also a reference to the many bodies of water around the Puget Sound area, as well as the high rainfall that the region receives. The mascot, a frog, is loosely based on an indigenous species that lives near water. A big round of applause for Benjamin Hill of Ben’s Bizblog, who helped me out with this one.