The other day there was an article in Baseball America about crazy/silly baseball team names. Such names, the article argues, are tradition in the minor leagues. Names like the Flying Squirrels, the Baby Cakes, and the Fisher Cats get us wondering what it’s all about. I’ve noticed that several folks have read my post on the Hartford Yard Goats, so I thought maybe it’s time to start looking up some other teams and reporting on the origin of their names – starting with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
So, what’s a Fisher Cat, anyway?
Last year, during my first visit to see the Fisher Cats, I asked the guy in the gift shop if a fisher cat was a real thing. He assured me it was – but he had a little trouble explaining it. So I did what I always do: I Googled it. Fishers – as they are properly called – are North American mammals that are part of the weasel family. And they are really cute – which is probably why they are sometimes referred to as Fisher Cats. (It also has a nice ring to it and makes a great baseball team name.)
When the New Haven Ravens moved from Connecticut to Manchester, New Hampshire, after the 2003 season, ownership decided to get fan input into the new team’s name. A contest was held and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats were born.
Fishers have been long-time residents of New Hampshire and neighboring states, though they haven’t always been understood. According to New Hampshire Public Radio, “Fishers are secretive, solitary and keep to the forest—silently. Silence helps them maintain stealth. Their only known vocalizations are low chuckling and an occasional hiss or growl.” It must be that stealth that helps them win ballgames!
I’ll be attending a Fisher Cats game this week at Delta Dental Stadium in Manchester, NH. Go ‘Cats!