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: H
The list has gotten quite a bit shorter as teams like the High Desert Mavericks, Helena Brewers, and the Huntsville Stars do not exist anymore. But there is a new team added to the list as well.
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.
The sole new addition to the list.
When the New Britain RockCats moved to Hartford, a new name had to be chosen. Of course, a name the team contest was organized. The name YardGoats was selected from more than 6,000 entries. A yard goat is railroad slang for the switch engines or terminal tractors that shuttle train cars between different locomotives. As the stadium of the YardGoats is adjacent to the railyards, the name is very appropriate.
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.
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.