When the name of the new Hartford baseball team was announced last week it made national news and made people ask several questions like, ‘What the hell is a yard goat?’ and ‘What were the people of Connecticut thinking?’ Sure, when people hear the term “Yard Goat” I doubt a train engine comes to mind. It wasn’t my first thought either, but it grew on me. It’s a quirky, fun name that makes a reference to Hartford. Of course I also doubt that their logo will be of a train engine and rather be an actual goat.
But is the Yard Goat the worst nickname in minor league baseball? Some teams just adopt their parent team’s nickname like the Pawtucket Red Sox, Iowa Cubs, or Binghamton Mets, but then other teams have names that make no sense whatsoever. So here’s a list of minor league team names that are worse than the Yard Goats.
Affiliation – Single A, Colorado Rockies
League – California League
The Nuts adopted their name when their affiliation with the Oakland A’s ended in 2005. Their mascot’s names are Al the Almond and Wally the Walnut. Nothing more intimidating than a couple of nuts…
Affiliation – None
League – Frontier League
The CornBelters play in the independent Frontier League, and their name was chosen through a fan contest. Other choices included Nutz, Coal Bears, Fellers, and Camelbacks. The name CornBelters represents the city’s location within the Corn Belt. Yet another intimidating mascot, an ear of corn that looks stoned…
El Paso Chihuahuas
El Paso, Texas
Affiliation – Triple A, San Diego Padres
League – Pacific Coast League
Let’s name our minor baseball team after a breed of dog that has huge eyes and shakes all the time!
Lehigh Valley IronPigs
Affiliation – Triple A, Philadelphia Phillies
League – International League
The IronPigs name is a reference to pig iron which is used in the manufacturing of steel and is what the Lehigh Valley region of Pennsylvania is known for. The name may not be great, but the franchise does pretty well. In 2012, Forbes magazine ranked the IronPigs as the second most valuable team in Minor League Baseball. Plus, they released an alternate hat last year that had a strip of bacon on it.
Affiliation – Double A, Cleveland Indians
League – Eastern League
The RubberDucks play in the same league as the Rock Cats/Yard Goats, so you can actually go see them in action. While the name does refer to the city of Akron’s history in the rubber and tire industry, I can’t help but wonder if they take the field to the song “Rubber Ducky” from Sesame Street.
There’s plenty of other strange minor league baseball tame names, but if I were to go over all of them, we’d be here all day. Bottom line, maybe the Yard Goats isn’t so bad.
Sources; Wikipedia, MiLB.com