St. Paul Saints commemorate affiliation with a twist on a classic

The St. Paul Saints, a franchise that has made a name for itself with unique promotions and a sense of humor, have been an iconic independent minor league baseball team since 1993. Most recently, the team celebrated its 2019 American Association championship with a one-block, three-minute parade that featured players riding Lime scooters and a John Deere mower. In 2008, the team gave away bathroom stall “bobble feet” shortly after a much-publicized scandal involving US Senator Larry Craig getting arrested for lewd conduct in a restroom in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.

The team, owned in part by Bill Murray, is perhaps best known for its now-infamous annual Night of Unbelievable Fun—an event sponsored by the Minnesota Atheists and dubbed “Atheist Night” by the media—during which the Saints remove the S from their name and become the Mr. Paul Aints, wearing custom jerseys and covering the S in Saints all around their stadium.

That fun-loving independent team will make the jump from independent ball all the way up to the highest level of affiliated play next season, when the team will serve as the Triple-A farm club of Major League Baseball’s Minnesota Twins, just across the river. Perhaps to alleviate concerns that their newfound affiliation might lead to a more buttoned-up approach, the Saints unveiled a logo that parodies their parent club’s famous, almost 60-year-old “Minnie and Paul” logo, with their own version featuring the Twins mascot T.C. Bear shaking hands with a pig, an homage to the Saints’ nearly 30-year tradition of having a different live pig as a mascot each year. In the Saints’ version of the logo, their pig is wheeling a wagon full of gimmicks and tricks fans have come to expect from the team.

The current iteration of the St. Paul Saints was founded in 1993, but the name’s religious origins go back to 1884, when the St. Paul Apostles played in the city. The first team to go by the name Saints was owned by Charles Comiskey and played in the Western League from 1894 to 1899. That team would move to Chicago’s south side in 1900 and become the American League’s White Sox. Another St. Paul Saints team would play from 1901 to 1960 as a White Sox and Dodgers affiliate in the triple-A American Association.