What’s in a Name? The Origins of Top MLB Team Names

What’s in a Name? The Origins of Top MLB Team Names - partycasino

Most sports fans pick their team based on location but have you ever stopped to consider what’s in a name? 

The names of some clubs are relatively easy to understand, but you may not have thought about those which are more unusual. 

There's a famous story about the Chicago Bears owner naming his club to get one up on the Chicago Cubs, but how about the MLB teams? Here's a closer look at how some of the top clubs in MLB betting got their names.

Detroit Tigers

There have been many teams nicknamed the Tigers in American sports over the years, but in MLB, there's currently just one: Detroit Tigers. 

When the team played in minor league baseball, they were originally known as the Wolverines. The switch to Tigers wasn't about preferring a different animal but a tribute to the oldest military unit in Michigan, the 425th National Guard infantry unit. Having fought fiercely in the Spanish-American War and the Civil War, the nickname for the members in the unit was the Tigers. 

When Detroit joined the American League, which was newly formed in 1901, they requested permission from the regiment to adopt their nickname and symbol. Now known as the Detroit Light Guard, permission was granted, and the team has been known as the Tigers ever since.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers - partycasino

The LA Dodgers is one of the most iconic names in the MLB, but do you know where it comes from? 

The team originated not in LA but in Brooklyn - but the Dodgers wasn't their first name. The team was originally called the Bridegrooms, then Superbas before becoming the Trolley Dodgers in 1911. The name came from the trolleys that ran through the streets of Brooklyn, carrying passengers around and the people that ran around to avoid being hit!

Although they changed their name in 1911, the Dodgers were also known as the Robins for a while. From 1914 to 1931, they used the Robins as a moniker in tribute to their beloved manager Wilbert Robinson. When he retired, the team reverted to being known as the Dodgers and kept the name even when they moved to LA in 1957.

Tampa Bay Rays

The expansion team in Tampa Bay needed a name in 1995, so owner Vince Naimoli turned to the public for suggestions. Out of more than 7000 different names sent in, he chose Devil Rays - a move that did not prove popular with some fans. 

Less than a week after the new name was announced, local reporters said they had received multiple complaints from Christians who were unhappy about the inclusion of the word “devil”. Rumour has it that Naimoli’s first choice was Sting Rays but had to settle for second-best when he discovered the name was trademarked by an outfit in the Hawaiian Winter League. 

In 2007 there was a slight tweak to the name, and the word "devil" was dropped. Since being known as simply the Tampa Bay Rays, the fortunes of the team improved. So much so, in the season after they made the change, they had an extraordinary run of form to the World Series. This has led to insistence from some quarters that a "curse" has been lifted since the devilish name was dropped.