Welcome to the final installment of MLB team name origins! I am a huge baseball fan and these names, what and where they went through to get where they are is in my opinion a really interesting subject! The more that I read about these teams and some of the names that they have had, the more that I can’t believe some of them! Well, it’s time for the finale, Vol 6. Hope you enjoy it!
If you’ve just stumbled upon this, here are the other five articles:
We ended Vol 5. with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as the first expansion team in the American League so we’ll start with the other team that entered the league in 1961:
Texas Rangers– After the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota where an expansion team had been granted, the second version of the Washington Senators was born… The team spent eleven years in Washington D.C. before again leaving the area. When this second incarnation of the Senators moved to Texas and the Rangers were born for the 1972 season the fans of Washington for a second time in twelve years were livid! The Rangers have played in two World Series, winning none.
Little known fact- The first three managers of the Rangers (after their move to Texas) are all in the Hall of fame. These three managers are Ted Williams, Whitey Herzog and Billy Martin!
Kansas City Royals-In 1969 the Kansas City Royals entered the league as the third expansion franchise in the American League after the Kansas City A’s, who came from Philadelphia, bolted for Oakland for the 1968 season. The Royals have been to two World Series, winning it all in 1985.
Little known fact- George Brett, the Royals most well-known player, is the only player in major league baseball history to win a batting title in three different decades. He won the batting title in 1976, 1980 and 1990.
Seattle Mariners-The Mariners came about as a result of a lawsuit. When the Pilots were purchased and moved to Milwaukee, the state of Washington, the city of Seattle and King county filed suit against MLB for breach of contract and prepared for the team they knew was coming. In 1977 the Mariners opened up their rookie season in Seattle.
Little known fact- The Mariners are the only American League team without an appearance in a World Series.
Toronto Blue Jays– The Blue Jays entered the league in 1977 as the first Canadian team in the American League. They are named after the bird of the same name and are nicknamed the Jays. They have been to two World Series’, winning back to back in 1992 and 1993.
Little known fact- The Blue Jays are the fastest American League expansion team to win a World Series.
Tampa Bay Rays– In 1998 Tampa Bay got a baseball franchise, the Devil Rays. They kept the name Devil Rays until 2008 when they shortened the name to the Rays. The owner of the team described the team name as “a beacon that radiates throughout Tampa Bay and the entire state of Florida”. Pretty neat if you ask me… The Rays have played in one World Series, in 2008.
Little known fact- The San Francisco Giants were a last-minute decision from being sold and moved to Tampa in 1992.
In my opinion, the older teams have a much more interesting name history but either way, another one will be coming at some point…
Who do you think will have the next team name change?
Who do you think will be the next current team to relocate?
Which will be the next city to get an expansion team and do we really need one?!
As you’ve read through this list, and for me as I’ve put it together, you’ve probably thought some names were crazier than others as have I. I am going to make a top ten list of the weirdest baseball names that have been out there for MLB teams so be thinking of yours and make a list and see how if you match up with mine!
You ever get something in the mail and you have no idea where it came from? A total surprise from out in left field? I can honestly say that it has happened to me less than a handful of times, but one of these times happened earlier this year…
I was scheduled to leave my job a few days before year’s end 2010 and a few days prior I happened to have to sit through a meeting, they were talking about a yearly bonus… They just happened to mention that if you left before the end of the year, even if you left 12/31, you wouldn’t get this bonus. I wasn’t sure about it but I knew that I had put in notice to leave a few days prior to this so I rearranged my new job schedule to start a week later and finished out the year. So in the end of February of 2011 I got a nice bonus check. I already had some plans for it, a new drum set and maybe a trip… A trip to see the Angels play opening day. They were to be in Kansas City so I priced flights there, they were more than I expected so I priced flights to Santa Ana and they were barely more and it was a home game! So it was set, we would be in Anaheim for opening day! I had never set foot in California and figured this might be the only chance to do so…
So the plan was for my son and I to fly to California for opening day and attend the first three home games but as it turned out there were no corresponding flights for us to see the last game and get home in a timely manner. I went ahead and purchased airline tickets, hotel room and a rental car and then got the game tickets! We were pretty stoked about it!
Now being from Texas and being a huge Angels fan is, I don’t think, the norm… So my thought is hey, maybe I can use my disadvantage (living in Texas) to my advantage. I’m not afraid to ask for things even if it may seem there is no shot of getting it so I decided to email a couple of newspaper guys in California to see if I could get any help. I wanted to make this trip as memorable as possible for my son so I thought I’d love to meet some players or even one or two! Any would be fine by me… My son’s favorite players were Chone Figgins (gone already), Bobby Abreu and Torii Hunter… He likes them all but has identified them as his favorites. So I decided to email a few people up there to see if I could get any response, here is exactly what I sent them:
My name is Stephen, I live in Fort Worth Texas and on Friday my 7-year-old son and I are flying in to John Wayne airport in Santa Ana to attend opening day for our beloved Angels! We are really excited about it. We are going to the Friday and Saturday games. The reason I am emailing is maybe a stab in the dark but I will ask anyway… We attend games at the ballpark in Arlington when the Angels are in town and see different people getting to meet players or get pics or get on the field to watch batting practice and the like, I know that you are a media guy that reports on the Angels and just wanted to know if there is any way that we could maybe get to meet a player or anything like I have mentioned. I know it is opening weekend but I just thought I’d give it a shot, I don’t know if you have any strings that you can pull since we are fans from where the hated Rangers are from but I just couldn’t not ask. My son’s favorite Angel is Bobby Abreu as well as Torii Hunter. We are both really excited to finally get to go to a home game for our Angels and I just thought if there was any way I could enhance the trip and have one of those stories that my son would always remember even more than just going to the game I’d love for him to have that.
Like I said I don’t know if you can help or not but if you can that is great and if you can’t if you know of anyone that could possibly help with this request please let me know!
Thanks a bunch for anything you can help with!
So out of this letter I got one reply that there wasn’t really a way to help and no other replies… I thought well, at least it was worth a try. We were still getting to go to the games and that would be fun enough! Not to mention that I sent this just a week or two before the scheduled games… We went and had a blast! I have a saved draft that I am working on from out trip, back to the story!
I was at work one day and the secretary says hey you have a package at the desk, I get it and it’s a Fedex package with my name on it, delivered to my job. I am thinking it is something job related, obviously. No return address or anything identifying where it came from either. So I open up the package and pull out an autographed picture of Bobby Abreu! I am kind of tripping out at this point! Where the heck did this come from? I am looking around hard as well, I figure someone must have me on camera or something because I am freaking out… Where did this come from I keep thinking? Maybe it was the guy from California visiting his son at TCU that I met last weekend?! No idea… But I reach in again and there is another picture! A signed picture of Torii Hunter! What the?! I am still super excited but also wondering where the heck this came from! I am thinking maybe my boss ordered this as a gift, but he wouldn’t do that either… I called my wife at work and asked her “have you ordered me anything”? She said no, why? I told her the story and she was like what?
So I looked around and found the address for the Angels Stadium and a phone number etc… Called and explained I got the pics and wasn’t sure why, she said let me check with someone and call back. She called back a bit later and said they mailed them to you for your charity auction, I said I have no charity auction… She said well that was the info I got from his secretary, let me get directly with him… A few hours later she calls and says that one of the newspaper guys (the one that didn’t reply) forwarded my email to him and since they weren’t able to do anything for us while we were there they wanted to send these to me as a gesture of good faith… I couldn’t believe my ears! How awesome is that!?!
So anyways, that’s the story of how I got the pictures… Pretty freakin cool if you ask me! Talk about a way to increase your fandom! Oh, and I did send the guy an email of sincere thanks as well, still never heard a peep!