Whereas once it was expected that all sports teams would be named after ferocious animals, notable historic figures or events or something else otherwise inspiring, there has been a trend in the minor leagues over the past few years to give teams somewhat silly names.
The Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. The Binghamton Rumble Ponies. The New Orleans Baby Cakes. The Down East Wood Ducks. Etc.
I suspect a lot of that is fueled by a desire to sell intentionally uncool merchandise to ironic hipsters. Some of it may simply be a function of branding and creating a team identity that will not, for a moment, cause the local nine to be confused with anyone else. Not that those things are mutually exclusive. Whatever the impulse, the trend will no doubt continue.
The next place we could see it: Gwinnett County Georgia, where the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A team plays:
Gwinnett Braves general manager North Johnson announced a contest to rename the Triple-A team for the 2018 season and beyond.
Fans and members of the Gwinnett community can suggest new team names starting Monday through June 2. After all team name suggestions are submitted, a final round of voting on the top choices will last from June 19-July 3 on the Gwinnett Braves’ website.
Like all but one of its other affiliates, Gwinnett is named the Braves, just like the parent club. Being so close to Atlanta has caused it some identify problems, however, as one suburban Atlantan telling another that he’s “going to the Braves game” tomorrow could be confusing. Especially now that the major league team also plays in suburban Atlanta, about 35 miles apart. It makes sense.
So, go to the website, folks, and suggest a new name. The sillier the better. Basebally McBaseball Face? The Gwinnett Crackers?