Origin of 10 MLB Teams Names

November 30, 2017

Origin of 10 MLB Teams Names

What’s in a name?

Well you put that question in regards to names of MLB teams and you will find out that there is a reason why every side in the league is named what it is named. From the New York Yankees to the Seattle Mariners, there is a bit of story behind the name of every team in Major League Baseball.

Here we take a look at the origins of 10 MLB team names:

1- Boston Red Sox

The Boston Red Sox did not have a nickname during the early days and used to be known as the Boston Americans at one point in time. However, there used to be a team in the National League that used to wear red socks. When that side stopped wearing those red colored socks, the owner of the American League’s team decided to make his side wear them. Those Red Socks would then go on to inspire the name of the Boston Red Sox.

2- New York Yankees

Not a lot of people might know that the Yankees were formed in Baltimore in the year 1901. They moved to the Big Apple in 1902 and began to play there from 1903. The team was known as the New York Highlanders back then and that name was taken from a military unit. The press however started to call them the Yankees mainly because of their rivalry with the Boston Americans. The Highlanders and the Yankees were both used for the team at the same time and eventually it was the Yankees that began to be used more frequently than the original name. Then in 1913, the franchise officially became the New York Yankees.

3-Tampa Bay Rays

Vince Naimoli was the founder of the Tampa Bay side. He decided to name his side the Tampa Bay Devil Rays but the word “Devil” did not go down with the Christians for obvious reasons. After a string of poor seasons, the manager removed the Devil part of the name and the franchise has been called the Tampa Bay Rays since then. Their performances have been much better too ever since the name change.

4-Toronto Blue Jays

When Toronto was awarded a baseball franchise, the management decided to ask the fans what they wanted to name their new team. So a contest was held and fans chipped in with more than a whopping thirty thousand different suggestions. A panel was set up then comprising of fourteen judges and they then narrowed the list down to ten. Eventually it was “Blue Jays” that was picked as the team’s official name.

5-Cleveland Indians

When Nap Lajoie, left Cleveland, the management decided to take some drastic steps to improve the team’s fortunes on the field. They looked at the Boston Braves, who had been in the place of July 4th in 1914 but still somehow miraculously managed to win the World Series that season. This was a time when names inspired from Native Americans were the thing to do. So, when the newspapers were asked to pick the name of the Cleveland based team, they went down the same route and picked “Indians.”

6-Minnesota Twins

MLB awarded Minnesota a baseball team in the year 1961, but there was a slight problem with that. St. Paul and Minneapolis both wanted that franchise to be based in their respective cities. To solve the issue, the team was named Minnesota Twins to stop the bickering. The Twins is a tribute to the twin cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis and so is the “TC” written on the caps of the franchise, with TC standing for Twin Cities.

7-Kansas City Royals

When Kansas City was awarded an expansion franchise by the MLB, the management decided to hold name-a-team contest. The fans sent in over fifteen thousand suggestions and since the city was home to the annual American Royal Livestock Show, the management picked “Royals” as the name.

8-Houston Astros

The Houston Astros used to be known as Colt .45s but then a few years later, the management decided to give the side a new, more modern name. When selecting the new name, they began to consider how close the ballpark was to the city’s NASA training facilities. That basically is what inspired the ownership to name the team the Houston Astros.

9-Los Angeles Angels

There was a minor league side that used to be called the Angels. The management of the major league decided to simply pick up that name and call the side the “Angels.” The side used to be called the Los Angeles Angels between 1961 and 1964. The name then changed to the California Angels between 1965 and 1996. After that, the side became the Anaheim Angels between 1997 and 2004. The name was then changed to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and that remained till 2015. They began to play as the Los Angeles Angels starting the 2016 season.

10-Seattle Mariners

The Seattle Mariners were incepted in the year 1977. Once the league gave Seattle a major league team, the ownership decided to ask fans what they wanted the name of the new side to be. More than six hundred names were entered in that particular contest and because of the city’s close proximity to water, the name Mariners was picked.

This is an interesting list isn’t it? Every name has a story of its own. Yes we know there are another twenty teams that have not been discussed here but who knows we might do another list in the near future. For now, let us hear what you think of these 10 teams mentioned above.

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