The Strangest Baseball Team Names in History

What would you think is probably the strangest team name in baseball? My all-time favorite name for a minor league baseball team was the Decatur Commies. I love the fact that in the middle of the 1950’s and McCarthyism, there was actually a baseball team named the Commies. Of course, the fact that in this case the Commie appellation was simply short for Commodores kind of screws the fun out of it, but the sheer irony of there being a Decatur Commies baseball team back then cements that as my favorite weird sports team name ever.

If you look through the history of baseball you will find that, especially in the early days of organized baseball back in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, there were all kinds of really unique and original team names that make all of today’s Tigers and Bulldogs and Lions and Bears look downright boring, man! For instance, as a longtime New York Yankees fan, I would dearly love if the detestable Boston Red Sox were instead the more appropriate Boston Beaneaters that existed from 1883 to 1906. For one brief season there was even a baseball team called the Boston Rustlers which, let’s face it, makes about as much sense as the Portland Webfeet. Well, maybe not; I’ve only been to Portland once; maybe you should ask the people who live there about how many people in Portland have webbed feet.

When it comes to great baseball team names, the MLB simply cannot compete with either the minor leagues or the Negro League. Although many Negro League teams simply took what already existed in Major League Baseball, many others jumped forward with some truly memorable and unique names. You have to love the Atlanta Black Crackers for a variety of reasons, right? I’m also partial to the Indianapolis Clowns for some reason. But I suppose the absolute greatest Negro League baseball team name was one located in Louisville, Kentucky: the Zulu Cannibal Giants. Now is that a great team name or what?

Even so, minor league baseball team names just really took things into the creative stratosphere. Even the Portland Webfeet pale in comparison to some of the more outrageous minor league baseball team names. For instance, how many fans of The Simpsons realize that there actually is a minor league baseball team in Albuquerque called the Isotopes. A very famous episode of The Simpsons revolved around the Springfield Isotopes moving to Albuquerque and when it was time for the real team there to get a nickname, well, Isotopes was just too perfect. Here are just a sampling of great minor league baseball team names, many of you simply have to wonder how in the heck anyone came up with this as idea for a name, much less how they garnered the approval of the team or city.

Saginaw-Bay City Hyphens

Troy Washerwomen

Kalamazoo Celery Eaters

Terre Haute Hottentots

St. Paul Apostles

Lebanon Pretzel Eaters

Shenandoah Huns

Youngstown Puddlers

Des Moines Prohibitionists