It’s no secret for anyone who has known me for any length of time that I love minor league teams. I’m not over the top crazy about following prospects, though it is a lot of fun to see future stars in the making. No, my love of the minor league system is entirely based in how absolutely ridiculous it can be. Everything from the theme-nights, to the cheesy sound-effects played in the parks, to the insane event jerseys. I. Love. Minor League ball.
With that in mind I thought I’d focus on one of the best parts of MiLB teams (those who have an affiliation with an MLB organization), and that’s the NAMES. Recently there was a vote going around to change the name of the Staten Island Yankees to the Pizza Rats. While this vote has been temporarily delayed, I for one am already waiting with my credit card on hand to buy that t-shirt.
The Pizza Rats would join some incredible company in the MiLB circuit, where it seems no name is too goofy to go on a jersey. The result is ten of the most endearing and ridiculous team names imaginable.
Louisville Bats (Cincinnati Reds AAA)
I love that this team really plays with its name. Yes, their mascot is a bat with a bat. Duh. But Louisville is the home of the famed Louisville Slugger bat factory, which makes this team’s name an ideal one. Plus, come on, look at that logo. The Cincinnati Reds don’t take their MiLB naming too seriously, and I love them the more for it.
Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado Rockies AAA)
If this doesn’t immediately make you think of The Simpsons then I cannot help explain to you why it’s so great. Go ‘Topes.
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Philadelphia Phillies AAA)
I mean. I have no reason for thinking this is amazing other than the fact it’s amazing. Bonus points for the fact that this bacon hat IS OFFICIAL MERCHANDISE.
Anyway, moving on…
Hartford Yard Goats (Colorado Rockies AA)
The Yard Goats name in and of itself isn’t especially hilarious, though that goat-chewing-on-bat logo is pretty amazing. And goats are great. What really seals the deal for the Yard Goats is their nightmare inducing mascots, Chompers and Chew Chew.
Enjoy your nightmares, assholes.
Akron RubberDucks (Cleveland Indians AA)
Why yes, the fine folks of Akron, Ohio, DID try to make a rubber duckie seem badass.
Richmond Flying Squirrels (San Francisco Giants AA)
Reminder, this is what an actual flying squirrel looks like:
But I’ll definitely say the Richmond version has that cool acorn logo on it, so there’s that.
Charlotte Stone Crabs (Tampa Bay Rays A Adv.)
This one is entirely a personal choice. The name isn’t all that funny, but the Stone Crabs are one of my most-loved MiLB teams. Just look at that goofy, pinchy logo. What’s not to love?
Vermont Lake Monsters (Oakland A’s SS)
Bless you, MiLB.
I just looked up their mascot and laughed so hard I started crying.
Are they doing a Valentine’s promo where that mascot comes to your office? I would like that, please.
Binghamton Rumble Ponies (New York Mets AA)
These guys clearly hired the same re-design team as the Bats.
Bonus points, really, for the name being the most fun to say of all the teams.
Montgomery Biscuits (Tampa Bay Rays AA)
Yes. That is their real logo. Yes. It IS the greatest thing you will ever see. I defy you to find anything better. There is simply nothing in baseball that can top the perfection of the Montgomery Biscuits. Yes, his tongue IS A PAT OF BUTTER.
I swear to God if anyone ever tries to overhaul the design of this team they can do it over my dead body.
Honorable mentions go to the Daytona Tortugas (Cincinnati Reds), Omaha Storm Chasers (Kansas City Royals), Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Miami Marlins), and the Pensacola Blue Wahoos (Cincinnati Reds).