April 22, 2018

Some team nicknames that did not stick

November 28, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

With Matt Aber’s post regarding player nicknames still in my mind, I came across an article in the August 22, 1891, Sporting News which gave a number of team nicknames and background on the names. Most of the major league team’s nicknames and reasons for the names are well know. However, I found a few interesting and had not heard before, for example:

Louisville: “The Sour Mashes”, “Distillery Delegates” and of course the “Cyclones” and “Colonels”.

The article said the Pittsburg (no ending “h” at that time) team had never entirely escaped the title bestowed upon it in the old American Association days. The players were called “Smoked Italians,” because in their sooty uniforms they resembled descendants of a grand old line of Irish kings.

But the best of the lot were in the minor leagues. Some were obvious. The article said Denver’s team had been called the “The Mountain Lions”. Of course there were the Milwaukee “Brewers”, Kansas City “Cowboys”, Sioux City “Corn Huskers”, Lincoln “Farmers”. No points here for originality.

But then this: “Omaha has discarded Omahogs and their successors are called the Ghosts, because, as someone avows, they will not have a ghost of a chance to win the pennant.” A little better on originality.

Agreeably, the article claimed the Wisconsin State League had come forward with the most remarkable collection of nicknames of all the leagues. The Oconto team was the “Log Drivers”. Oshkosh the “Indians”, Appleton the “Papermakers”. Fond du Lac the “Mud Hens”, Marinette the “Lumber Shovers” and Green Bay the “Dock Wallopers”.

Might the Green Bay Packers consider a name change??


One Response to “Some team nicknames that did not stick”
  1. R. J. Lesch says:

    Des Moines had nicknames such as these in the 1900s:
    “Politicians” (state capital)
    “Underwriters” (the insurance industry stuffed the ballot box in a fan ballot contest)
    “Undertakers” (manager Joe Quinn’s offseason occupation)

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