There are 160 affiliated Minor League Baseball teams, and as of right now, 136 of them have unique, locally appropriate nicknames, which is the fun and morally correct thing to do. The other 24 are named for their parent clubs, which is boring and a dereliction of their responsibility as purveyors of basebally fun.
We already know that the Potomac Nationals will rebrand when they move to Fredericksburg next season, and today we learn that one more team is advancing the cause of minor league mirth and merriment. The Connecticut Tigers, short-season Class A affiliate of, you guessed it, the Detroit Tigers, are looking for suggestions for a new name from fans.
Norwich has a significant Colonial and Revolutionary War history and is known for its harbor formed by the convergence of three rivers, which has long been associated with the shipping industry. But my bet is the new name will have something to do with Norwhich’s nickname, the Rose of New England, which, given that the team is working with Brandiose to develop the new identity, seems to lend itself to a logo with some sort of anthropomorphized flower swinging a thorn like a baseball bat.
Whatever it is, the new nickname will bring the number of obstinate holdouts still named for their parent clubs to 22 in 2020. It’s progress, but there’s still work to be done. (Included in that list of 22 is all 10 teams the rookie-level Appalachian League, so if we discount them it’s really only 12 teams we need to work on to get with the times.)
The Tigers franchise has played in Wellsville, New York (1942–1965), Oneonta, New York (1966–2009), and its current location in Norwich, Connecticut, since 2010. For nearly all of its existence, the team has been named for its parent clubs, which have included the Yankees, Senators, Braves, Red Sox, and Tigers. The sole outliers were brief stints as the Wellsville Nitros (1947–1949) and Wellsville Rockets (1951–1952).
The submission form will be open through April 25 on the team’s website.