MiLB shared this today, so I thought I’d pass it along…
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!
Yesterday, Kathie Lee Gifford expressed her love for the Bowie Baysox on national TV! Gifford grew up in Bowie, MD, and highlighted our local minor league team on the Today show’s “Favorite Things” feature.
On Opening Day, Today also did a nice piece on baseball for Opening Day. It, too, mentioned the minor leagues. And for MiLB Opening Day, a few MiLB mascots made sure they got themselves on TV:
It’s nice to see minor league baseball getting national coverage. I’m still not sure how much casual fans know about the minor leagues, or if they follow them like The Baseball Sociologist does, but at least someone at the Today show loves MiLB!
Happy Minor League Baseball Opening Day! I don’t know which I love better: MLB Opening Day or MiLB Opening Day. Maybe it’s possible to love them both the same.
A full schedule of all teams playing today can be found at MiLB.com. Unfortunately, my beloved Baysox will be in Akron today – and the weather reports have not been terribly positive. Nonetheless, I’ll be watching the game on MiLB.TV. (How nice of the O’s to take the day off in honor of MiLB Opening Day so I don’t have to have two TVs going at once!)
This season, there will be many baseball-sociological adventures, including the annual Bobble Quest, as well as sociological analyses of both MiLB and MLB. So stay tuned!
In the meantime, here is a list of this season’s key dates from MiLB.com:
April 6: Minor League Baseball Opening Day for full-season leagues
May 31: 22nd Annual Rickwood Classic, Birmingham, Alabama
June 12-14: First-Year Player Draft
June 15: Pioneer League season begins
June 17: Florida State League All-Star Game, Lakeland, Florida
June 19: New York-Penn League and Northwest League seasons begin
California League All-Star Game, Visalia, California
Carolina League All-Star Game, Salem, Virginia
Midwest League All-Star Game, Midland, Michigan
South Atlantic League All-Star Game, Columbia, South Carolina
Southern League All-Star Game, Pensacola, Florida
June 22: Appalachian League season begins
June 26: Gulf Coast League season begins
June 27: Texas League All-Star Game, Frisco, Texas
July 2: International free agent signing period begins
July 9: Futures Game, Miami
July 15: Deadline for signing 2017 draftees
Aug. 1: Northwest/Pioneer League All-Star Game, Hillsboro, Oregon
Aug. 15: New York-Penn League All-Star Game, Troy, New York
Sept. 19: Triple-A National Championship Game, Moosic, Pennsylvania
Happy 2017 Baseball Season!
Generally, I dread the All-Star Break. Annually, the day after the All-Star Game is a sad day, because there are no MLB games scheduled. But this year, the day after the day after the All-Star Game is also a day without Major League Baseball.
What are we supposed to do?
We have come to expect baseball to be a part of our daily existence from April through September, with that one day off. Usually at least one Major League team has a game the Thursday after the All-Star Game. But this year, we get nothing.
What cruel human beings are they to deprive us of baseball for two days in a row?
Thankfully, Minor League Baseball is there to fill the void. And I am one of the lucky ones because my hometown team, the Bowie Baysox, are in town tonight! In fact, 96 minor league games will be played today, including the Cedar Rapids Kernals v. the Lake County Captains, beginning at 11 am (Eastern). Several evening games will even be on MiLB.TV, if you subscribe. But even if you don’t have access to MiLB.TV, many teams provide audio links to their radio broadcasts on their websites, and you can always watch the graphic representation of the games on the teams’ Gameday pages. I’ve posted today’s MiLB schedule below, or you can go to the MiLB website for more info.
|MID||Cedar Rapids||Lake County||11:00 AM|
|FSL||Clearwater||Palm Beach||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Blue Jays||GCL Phillies||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Cardinals||GCL Marlins||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Nationals||GCL Mets||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Pirates||GCL Yankees East||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Rays||GCL Red Sox||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Tigers East||GCL Braves||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Twins||GCL Orioles||12:00 PM|
|GCL||GCL Yankees West||GCL Tigers West||12:00 PM|
|FSL||Daytona||St. Lucie||6:30 PM|
|FSL||Jupiter||Brevard County||6:35 PM|
|FSL||Fort Myers||Tampa||7:00 PM|
|NYP||Hudson Valley||Staten Island||7:00 PM||YES|
|APP||Johnson City||Burlington||7:00 PM|
|EAS||New Hampshire||Portland||7:00 PM||YES|
|NYP||Auburn||West Virginia||7:05 PM|
|SAL||Augusta||West Virginia||7:05 PM|
|INT||Buffalo||Lehigh Valley||7:05 PM||YES|
|CAR||Frederick||Myrtle Beach||7:05 PM||YES|
|NYP||Mahoning Valley||State College||7:05 PM||YES|
|MID||Quad Cities||Fort Wayne||7:05 PM|
|MID||Great Lakes||Burlington||7:30 PM|
|MID||South Bend||Clinton||7:30 PM|
|MID||West Michigan||Kane County||7:30 PM||YES|
|MID||Wisconsin||Bowling Green||7:35 PM|
|AZL||AZL White Sox||AZL Indians||8:00 PM|
|AZL||AZL White Sox||AZL Indians||Game 2|
|PCL||Fresno||New Orleans||8:00 PM||YES|
|TEX||Frisco||Corpus Christi||8:05 PM||YES|
|TEX||Midland||San Antonio||8:05 PM||YES|
|PCL||Sacramento||Round Rock||8:05 PM||YES|
|PCL||Salt Lake||Omaha||8:05 PM||YES|
|CAL||San Jose||Lancaster||8:05 PM|
|CAL||San Jose||Lancaster||Game 2||YES|
|TEX||Springfield||NW Arkansas||8:05 PM||YES|
|PCL||Las Vegas||Iowa||8:08 PM||YES|
|PIO||Orem||Great Falls||9:00 PM|
|PIO||Grand Junction||Billings||9:05 PM|
|PCL||Nashville||El Paso||9:05 PM||YES|
|PIO||Helena||Idaho Falls||9:15 PM||YES|
|AZL||AZL Athletics||AZL Giants||10:00 PM|
|AZL||AZL Dodgers||AZL Reds||10:00 PM|
|AZL||AZL Mariners||AZL Padres||10:00 PM|
|AZL||AZL Rangers||AZL D-backs||10:00 PM|
|AZL||AZL Royals||AZL Cubs||10:00 PM|
|CAL||Visalia||Lake Elsinore||10:00 PM|
|PCL||Col. Springs||Tacoma||10:05 PM||YES|
|CAL||Inland Empire||Rancho Cucamonga||10:05 PM|
|PCL||Okla. City||Reno||10:05 PM||YES|
|CAL||High Desert||Stockton||10:10 PM|
It was the first week of the MLB and MiLB 2016 season and there were a LOT of great articles, tweets, videos, and posts. However, this was the BEST video posted this week… Meet the Norfolk Tides’ new Mascot, Titan:
Have a great week, everyone!
It was almost everything we could ask for – our championship team playing at home on the first night of the season, a rehab start by a Major Leaguer, a home run by one of our top prospects, and some good plays by our favorite starters. And, of course, sumo wrestlers, the dizzy bat race, and other assorted contests.
The only thing missing was a win. Unfortunately, the Baysox lost to the RubberDucks, 5-2.
The 50 degrees and rain that caused a delay in the Nats game down the road a bit, only delayed the start by a little over a half hour and mostly stayed away until the end of the game. And I don’t know about Nats stadium or Camden Yards, but the rain left behind a nice rainbow over Prince George’s Stadium in beautiful Bowie, Maryland.
It was a nice start to the Minor League Season!