When the New York Mets purchased the triple-A Syracuse Chiefs before the 2018 season, speculation was rampant that the Chiefs would rebrand as the Syracuse Mets for 2019 and beyond. Governor Andrew Cuomo himself said back in January that the Chiefs would become the Mets, though the team itself would confirm only that their name would change, without specifying what the new name would be.
The team’s new uniforms reflect their parent club’s look and feel, with the Mets script on the pinstriped home uniforms a close match.
The Syracuse Chiefs nickname dates back to the 1930s, and has been used by three separate franchises: an International League team from 1934 to 1955, a separate Eastern League team in 1956 and 1957, and the current franchise, which has used the name since 1961, except for a period from 1997 to 2006, when they were the SkyChiefs.
The decision to rebrand the Syracuse Mets in the image of their parent club bucks the trend of minor league teams adopting unique nicknames, but it is not without precedent. Most notably, the Triple-A Oklahoma City RedHawks were purchased by the Los Angeles Dodgers and renamed the Oklahoma City Dodgers in 2014.
The Syracuse Mets will debut in April, when the 2019 Triple-A International League season begins.