Friday, April 16, 2010

What’s in a Nickname? The Origins of MLB Team Names

As many people know, I love baseball. Go Giants! And, with the Major League Baseball season getting underway, I thought it would be fun to write about how some of the league’s teams got their name (from Mental Floss):

Arizona Diamondbacks
In 1995, the expansion franchise’s ownership group asked fans to vote from among a list of nicknames that included Coyotes, Diamondbacks, Phoenix, Rattlers, and Scorpions. Diamondbacks, a type of desert rattlesnake, was the winner, sparing everyone the mind-boggling possibility of a team located in Phoenix, Arizona, called the Arizona Phoenix.

San Francisco Giants

The New York Giants moved to San Francisco in 1957 and retained their nickname, which dates back to 1885. It was during that season, according to legend, that New York Gothams manager Jim Mutrie referred to his players as his “giants” after a rousing win over Philadelphia.

San Diego Padres

When San Diego was awarded an expansion team in 1969, the club adopted the nickname of the city’s Pacific Coast League team, the Padres. The nickname, which is Spanish for father or priest, was a reference to San Diego’s status as the first Spanish Mission in California.

Find the story about your favorite team’s name by clicking here.

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