Friday Flashback: Football/Baseball Team Names

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Dodgers, Yankees, Pirates, Reds, Cardinals and Giants

Back in the day – like LONG before I was born when the National Football League (NFL) was just a baby sports league, many of the teams shared the names of their Major League Baseball (MLB) counterparts.  Since the NFL was trying to survive in those early years, some teams felt that sharing the name would encourage fans to attend.  Baseball was king in those days.  Today, none of the team names are shared since the St. Louis Cardinals left St. Louis for Arizona.  Here are some of the NFL (or other professional teams) which shared names with their baseball brothers:

  • Brooklyn Dodgers
    • Origin:  Two Brooklyn businessmen bought the Dayton Triangles in 1930 and renamed the team to the Dodgers.
    • Played from 1930-1943
    • Record:  60-90-9
    • Championships:  None
    • Best Finish:  2nd place (1933, 1935, 1940, 1941)
    • Best Players:  Morris “Red” Badgro, Benny Friedman, Frank “Bruiser” Kinard and Clarence “Ace” Parker
    • What happened to the Dodgers?  Team was renamed to the Tigers in 1944 but went 0-10.  They merged with the Boston Yanks for the 1945 season.  The franchise indirectly became the Indianapolis Colts.
  • New York Giants
    • Origin:  One of five teams that joined the NFL in 1925
    • Played from 1925 – Present
    • Record: 711-610-33
    • Championships:  8
    • Best Finish: 13-1-1 in 1929
    • Best Players:  This is a long list but would include Lawrence Taylor, Frank Gifford, Y.A. Tittle, Sam Huff and Charlie Conerly
    • What happened to the Giants? The team has been called the “New York Football Giants” by ESPN’s Chris Berman but the baseball team moved to San Francisco in 1957 leaving the football team as the only Giants in New York.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates
    • Origin: Joined the NFL in 1933 and was originally named the Pirates by owner Art Rooney but locals referred to the team as the “Rooneymen” to distinguish them from the baseball team.
    • Played: 1933 – 1939
    • Record: 22-55-3
    • Championships: None
    • Best Finish: 6-6-0 in 1936
    • Best Players: Byron White (would later become Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court).  At the time White signed the biggest contract in NFL history.
    • What happened to the Pirates? The team was renamed to the Steelers in 1940.
  • Cincinnati Reds
    • Origin:  Joined the NFL in 1933
    • Played: 1933-1934
    • Record: 3-14-1
    • Championships: None
    • Best Finish: 3-6-1 in 1933
    • Best Players:  None
    • What happened to the Reds?  The team was suspended by the league for failure to pay their dues during the 1934 season and were replaced by the St. Louis Gunners after eight games.  The Reds have the two lowest officially recognized season scoring totals in NFL history.  They scored only 38 points in 10 games in 1933 and 37 points in 1934.
  • New York Yankees
    • Origin:  Played in the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) in 1946
    • Played:  1946-1949
    • Record:  35-17-2
    • Championships:  None
    • Best Finish:  11-2-1 in 1947
    • Best Players:  Spec Sanders, Tom Landry, Frank Sinkwich
    • What happened to the Yankees?  Before the 1949 season, the Brooklyn Dodgers football team folded and merged with the Yankees to become the Brooklyn-New York Yankees in the final season of the AAFC.  The AAFC was absorbed by the NFL after the season but did not bring the team into the league and divided the players between the New York Giants and New York Bulldogs (which played at the New York Yanks in 1950).
  • St. Louis Cardinals
    • Origin: NFL team relocated from Chicago to St. Louis in 1960.
    • Played:  1960-1987
    • Record:  186-202-14
    • Championships:  None
    • Best Finish:  11-3-0 in 1975
    • Best Players:  Larry Wilson, Don Maynard, Roger Wherli, Dan Dierdorf, Jackie Smith and George Privateer
    • What happened to the Cardinals?  Owner Bill Bidwill moved the team to Phoenix, Arizona after the 1987 season.

After the St. Louis Cardinals moved to Arizona, no other NFL team has shared a name with their baseball teams.  The only teams who currently have closely-related team names are the Chicago Bears/Cubs and the Detroit Lions/Tigers.  According the team origin information both NFL teams were named to relate to their baseball teams.

 

 

Here Comes The Bacon…

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People that know me, know that I like to read about obscure sports teams, leagues and unique nicknames.  Well, here comes another one.   Yesterday, the city of Macon, Georgia announced the name of their newest baseball team.  Give it up for the Macon Bacon.

Yes, I laughed too and then the reality of how stupid people get with naming these new teams.  They all want a unique name and one that no other team has.  Well, I’m pretty sure there isn’t another team named the “Bacon”.   Of course, Macon will be in the same league with the Savannah Bananas.  Can’t wait to see the headlines of that first game when the Bananas and Bacon meet at home “plate”.

Of course, Macon did bring us the most controversial sports nickname of all time with the “Macon Whoopees”.

The Macon Bacon beat out the names Macon Soul, Macon Hits, Macon Heat and Macon Noise.  I had submitted an entry in the name-the-team contest but it apparently wasn’t weird enough.  I had submitted the name:  Macon Reddings to honor Otis Redding who was a music legend from Macon as well as the name of a bird.  I guess my entry was too tame.

Macon will begin play in the Coastal Plain Baseball League which is a 16-team league in the Southeast.  The league fills its roster with college players.  This will be Macon’s first team since the Macon Pinetoppers played for one season in the Peach State League in 2011.   One of the nation’s oldest baseball stadiums has been dormant since then.

Macon has been home to the Macon Peaches, Macon Redbirds, Macon Pirates and Macon Braves.  The Braves did well but not well enough to keep them in Macon when the city of Rome, Georgia, lured them away with a new stadium.  Macon hasn’t had an affiliated baseball team since the Braves left for Rome.   Independent teams have played in Macon but those leagues never lasted.  The Macon Music played in the South Coast League in 2007 but didn’t return for another season.

I’m wondering if Bacon merchandise will sell like….hot cakes.

macon bacon

Yep, there will be a lot of ways to play on this name.  I can just see some college baseball prospect getting the news he will be playing for the Bacon.   Seriously?

The announcement of the new team name also came with bacon-flavored snacks for people in attendance for unveiling of the logo, uniforms and hats.

Here are the other teams in the Coastal Plain League:

  • Edenton (NC) Steamers
  • Fayetteville (NC) Swampdogs
  • Holly Springs (NC) Salamanders
  • Morehead City (NC) Marlins
  • Peninsula (VA) Pilots
  • Wilmington (NC) Sharks
  • Wilson (NC) Tobs
  • Asheboro (NC) Copperheads
  • Florence (SC) Red Wolves
  • Forest City (NC) Owls
  • Gastonia (NC) Grizzlies
  • High Point-Thomasville (NC) HiToms
  • Lexington County (SC) Blowfish
  • Savannah (GA) Bananas
  • Martinsville (VA) Mustangs

If I could create my own league, I thought of an all-food league which would include existing teams such as the Montgomery (AL) Biscuits, Jacksonville (FL) Jumbo Shrimp, Modesto (CA) Nuts, Portland (OR) Pickles and Savannah (GA) Bananas.

The world of naming sports teams has gone completely crazy.

Now I suddenly have an urge for bacon.

 

 

 

 

Friday Flashback: Pensacola Pelicans

Pensacola_PelicansSeveral years ago, I thought we were going to move to Pensacola, Florida.  We visited the city and loved it but things never worked out to move there.  Pensacola is now home to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League but from 2002-2010, Pensacola’s baseball team were the Pelicans which bounced between three independent leagues during their existence.

They began in the Southeastern League in 2002 and were very successful in their first season.  The Pelicans had the league’s best record (40-28) and won the league championship over the Montgomery Wings.  In 2003, they once again had the league’s best record (42-23) but fell short to the Baton Rouge Riverbats in the championship.  The league folded after the season and the Pelicans joined the Central Baseball league.   In the new league, the Pelicans finished 55-40 and won the East Division.  In 2005, the Pelicans lost in the semifinals to the Fort Worth Cats.

The Central Baseball League folded in 2005 and the Pelicans joined the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball.   Their best season was in 2009 when they won the South Division and lost to the Lincoln Saltdogs in the championship.  The Pelicans finished 49-46 for 5th place in their final season in 2010.

After the season, the Pelicans were sold to a group in Amarillo, Texas so that Pensacola could bring a Double-A team to the city.

The Pelicans played their home games at Jim Spooner Field at Pelican Park.

Pensacola Pelicans History:

  • 2002 – Southeastern League – 40-28 (League Champions)
  • 2003 – Southeastern League – 42-23 (Lost League Finals)
  • 2004 – Central Baseball League – 55-40 (Lost in First Round)
  • 2005 – Central Baseball League – 53-39 (Lost in First Round)
  • 2006 – American Association – 40-56
  • 2007 – American Association – 39-56
  • 2008 – American Association – 43-53
  • 2009 – American Association – 53-43 (Lost League Finals)
  • 2010 – American Association – 49-46 (Lost in First Round)

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