An offseason Ferris wheel of franchise relocations will bring affiliated Minor League Baseball back to the city of Amarillo, Texas, for the first time since 1982. In an announcement made just moments ago, the Double-A San Antonio Missions franchise is moving 500 miles to the north to become the Amarillo Sod Poodles in 2019.
The team unveiled its new nickname and Brandiose-designed logos in a much-anticipated press conference. The new nickname beat out other four other finalists in a name-the-team contest: Boot Scooters, Bronc Busters, Jerky, and Long Haulers. Sod Poodles is a nickname for the prairie dogs prevalent in the area.
The Missions franchise, one of the charter members of the Texas League, has been based in San Antonio under various nicknames since the late 1800s. Though the Double-A franchise is moving to Amarillo, the San Antonio Missions will live on as a Triple-A team, as the erstwhile Colorado Springs Sky Sox are moving to Texas under that banner. (And continuing down that rabbit hole, Colorado Springs will get its own new franchise, a short-season Class A team moving from Helena, Montana, whose entirely new brand is coming soon.)
The Sod Poodles, an affiliate of the San Diego Padres, will make their Texas League debut in April.