Minor League Baseball announces top 25 teams in merchandise sales

Written By:  •  Monday, June 12, 2017

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Minor League Baseball’s list of the top 25 teams in terms of merchandise sales in 2016 is out, and it features a mixed bag of traditional powerhouses and trendy newcomers. There are 160 affiliated teams in the minors, including 30 each at Triple-A and Double-A, with the remaining 100 playing at levels from rookie leagues through High-A. The top 25 list, which does not rank the teams, includes 16 Triple-A teams (makes sense because they play in bigger markets), five Double-A teams, and four Single-A teams.

There are stalwarts, like the Durham Bulls, Toledo Mud Hens, and Portland Sea Dogs; relatively new teams with popular brands, like the El Paso Chihuahuas, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, and Lake Elsinore Storm; and brand-new teams like the Columbia Fireflies, whose glow-in-the-dark uniforms were gaining attention even before Tim Tebow took the field for them this season. Three of the 25 teams borrow their nicknames from their parent clubs (two Cubs teams and the Oklahoma City Dodgers).

After making a splash with a fun new identity in 2016, the Hartford Yard Goats are not on this list. That’s almost certainly attributed to the fact that the team’s stadium did not open until this season because of legal and construction delays, so they did not have any home games last year. With a full slate of home games in 2017, we’ll almost certainly see the Yard Goats on this list this time next year.

Here’s the full list, broken down alphabetically by classification:

Triple-A

Charlotte Knights (White Sox)
Columbus Clippers (Indians)
Durham Bulls (Rays)
El Paso Chihuahuas (Padres)
Fresno Grizzlies (Astros)
Indianapolis Indians (Pirates)
Iowa Cubs
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Phillies)
Louisville Bats (Reds)
Nashville Sounds (Athletics)
Oklahoma City Dodgers
Omaha Storm Chasers (Royals)
Sacramento River Cats (Giants)
Salt Lake Bees (Angels)
Tacoma Rainiers (Mariners)
Toledo Mud Hens (Tigers)

Double-A

Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros)
Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers)
Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox)
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Giants)
Trenton Thunder (Yankees)

Single-A

Columbia Fireflies (Mets)
Dayton Dragons (Reds)
Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres)
South Bend Cubs

Last year was the second consecutive year that Minor League Baseball set merchandise sales records, a trend that is likely to continue as teams update existing brands or rebrand with new names.



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Paul Caputo

Paul Caputo is a grown man who collects plastic ice cream helmet sundaes from minor league baseball stadiums because he likes logos that much. He is the author of the Story Behind the Nickname Series on this website and can be found on Twitter at @Count2Baseball.