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.
We continue with the letter:
Kane County Cougars:
When the Wasau Timbers moved to Geneva Illinois, a naming contest was held. 52 entries suggested Cougars and that’s the name it would be even though the species doesn’t live in the area.
Kannapolis Cannon Ballers:
As the Kannapolis Intimidators, who was named after Dale Earnhardt, would move into a new stadium for the 2020 season, the brass of the club thought it was time for a new moniker. Of course, a name the team contest was organized. Cannons was one of the most popular. As a matter of fact, the former ballpark where the Intimidators played was originally called the Fieldcrest Cannon. So there was a link. But the brass refined the name Cannons into Cannon Ballers in order to evoke a theme of human cannonball acts, which reflected Earnhardt’s legacy as a risk-taker. The club looked for a name that could reflect on both the city’s heritage and its association with auto racing. Thus it happened.
From 1969 affiliated baseball is played in Kingsport. From that year on, three MLB teams signed PDC’s with the club (Kansas City Royals 1969-1973; Atlanta Braves 1974-1979; New York Mets 1980- )
Like most of the Mets’ minor league affiliates, the Kingsport team adopted the name of the parent club.