Have you ever wondered how the MLB teams got their nicknames?
MLB team names range from the Yankees, to the Cardinals, to the Tigers. For a full list of the 30 MLB teams and the intriguing stories of how they wound up with their names, check out What’s in a Nickname? The Origins of All 30 MLB Team Names.
Here’s the origin of a few of the MLB teams…
In 1899, the St. Louis Browns became the St. Louis Perfectos. That season, Willie McHale, a columnist for the St. Louis Republic reportedly heard a woman refer to the team’s red stockings as a “lovely shade of Cardinal.” McHale included the nickname in his column and it was an instant hit among fans. The team officially changed its nickname in 1900.
In 1903, the original Baltimore Orioles moved to New York, where they became the Highlanders. As was common at the time, the team, which played in the American League, was also known as the New York Americans. New York Press editor Jim Price coined the nickname Yanks, or Yankees, in 1904 because it was easier to fit in headlines.
The Dodgers trace their roots to Brooklyn, where the team was known as the Bridegrooms, Superbas, and, beginning in 1911, the Trolley Dodgers. The Dodgers nickname referred to the pedestrians who dodged trolleys that carried passengers through the streets of Brooklyn. While the team was known as the Robins from 1914 to 1931, in honor of legendary manager Wilbert Robinson, the nickname switched back to Dodgers when Robinson retired. When Walter O’Malley moved the franchise to Los Angeles after the 1957 season, he elected to keep the name.
Detroit’s original minor league baseball team was officially known as the Wolverines. The club was also referred to as the Tigers, the nickname for the members of Michigan’s oldest military unit, the 425th National Guard infantry regiment, which fought in the Civil War and Spanish-American War. When Detroit joined the newly formed American League in 1901, the team received formal permission from the regiment, which was known as the Detroit Light Guard, to use its symbol and nickname.