Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
History of Team Names
Colt .45's. From 1962-64 they were the Colt .45's. With the move in 1965 to the first indoor stadium, the Astrodome, the team name was aptly changed.
Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees were the Baltimore Orioles, for their first two seasons, 1901 and 1902. In 1903 the franchise moved to New York where it was renamed the Highlanders, which remained the team name until 1913, when it became the Yankees.
Quebec Nordiques. The Colorado Avalanche moved from Quebec City in 1995. In their first season as the Avalanche they won the Stanley Cup. The Winnipeg Jets moved to Phoenix and became the Coyotes in 1996, and the Hartford Whalers moved to Carolina in 1997, becoming the Hurricanes.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are still an NHL club, for now.
Dallas Texans. Lamar Hunt moved his Dallas Texans to Kansas City in 1963, renaming them the Chiefs. They would go on to represent the AFL in the first Super Bowl, losing to Vince Lombardi's Green Bay Packers in January 1967.
New York Titans. From 1960-62 as an American Football League club, the New York franchise was the Titans, to mimick the crosstown Giants of the NFL. The team name was changed to Jets in 1963.
Milwaukee Brewers. Yes, in fact there was another Milwaukee Brewers, back in 1901. They were moved to St. Louis in 1902, becoming the Browns. In 1954, the Browns were moved to Baltimore to become the Orioles.
Toronto Arenas. The Maple Leafs were originally named the Arenas when the NHL formed in 1917. The name changed to St. Pats in 1919, and then to Maple Leafs in 1926. The Wanderers and Bulldogs both were NHL teams that folded.
Washington Senators. The 2nd version of the Washington Senators (formed 1961) relocated to Texas in 1972. The original Senators (formed 1901) had moved to Minnesota in 1961 to become the Twins.
Cougars. The Red Wings were originally named the Cougars from 1926-29. In 1930 the name was changed briefly to Falcons, and when James Norris bought the team in 1932, he renamed it the Red Wings.
Blues. The Indians were formed in 1902, and the name of the team changed from Blues to Naps in 1905, and then to Indians in 1915.
It is commonly thought that the team was originally named Spiders, but the actual Spider franchise was not part of the American League from 1888-1900 when it existed, and are not officially linked to the Cleveland Indians. But, it is said that the Cleveland fans' love for a Spiders player, Louis Sockalexis, who was a Native American, inspired the name change from Naps to Indians in 1915.
Buffalo Braves. The Braves entered the NBA in 1970, and moved to San Diego in 1978, becoming the Clippers. The Clippers moved to Los Angeles in 1984.
Kansas City Scouts. The Devils' franchise emerged as an expansion team in 1974 as the Scouts. They failed in Kansas City and relocated to Colorado in 1976, becoming the Rockies. The next move was in 1982 to New Jersey. The team was originally known as the "Red Devils" in '82 but dropped the "red" the following season.
Oilers. The Titans moved from Houston where they were the Oilers from 1960-1996. In fact, for their first season in Tennessee they were called the Tennessee Oilers. In 1998 the team was renamed Titans in a "name-the-team" contest.
|Which team that started in 1967 is named after a jet, which never actually came to fruition?||History of Team Names
Seattle Supersonics. The NBA franchise team landed in Seattle in 1967. Boeing, the airplane manufacturer, was then headquartered in Washington. Boeing was working on a supersonic jet that would rival the Concorde. The plane never took off but the name stuck.
|Which team, originally known as the Americans, changed their name when they moved in 1968 to rhyme with other team names in the area?||History of Team Names
New Jersey Nets. The team was a charter member of the American Basketball Association (ABA) in 1967. They moved to Commack, NY in 1968 and changed their name to the Nets in order to rhyme with the already established teams, the Mets and the Jets, and because the net is an important part of the sport of basketball.
New York Knicks. Knicks is short for Knickerbockers, which is a style of pants worn by the Dutch settlers who, in the 17th century, founded what is now New York. The rolled up just below the knee pants, knickers, was very popular and has been associated with N.Y. sports teams since the 1840s.
|Which team was the first to be named after a company who provided corporate sponsorship?||History of Team Names
Green Bay Packers. In 1919, the Green Bay was the first team to utilize corporate sponsorship. The Indian Packing Company provided the team with money for uniforms and equipment. There after they were called the Green Bay Packers.
They originally played at Wrigley Field (Cubs Park). Coach George Halas inherited co-ownership of the Decatur (Ill.) Staleys from factory owner A. E. Staley in 1921 and promptly moved them north to Chicago's Wrigley Field (then Cubs Park). In keeping with the park's summer tenants, Major League Baseball's Cubs, Halas renamed the team the Bears.
Anaheim Angels. The Angels originally resided in Los Angeles from 1961 - 1965, and Los Angeles is Spanish for 'the angels'.
New Jersey Devils. The 'Jersey Devil' is a half-man, half-beast who has roamed over the New Jersey Pine Barrens for over 250 years. Perhaps the 'Jersey Devil' is only legend, but that legend did give rise to the team's name.
Calgary Flames. Atlanta was the city burning during the Civil War, and the team was originally the Atlanta Flames from 1972 - 1980. The name stayed when the team moved to Calgary in 1980. But they did change the logo from a flaming 'A' to a flaming 'C'.
Baltimore Ravens. In 1996, in a poll in the "Baltimore Sun" readers chose to name their team after the poem "The Raven" written by Edgar Allan Poe who was a Baltimore native.
|Which team was originally named in reference to the maze of trolleys near the Brooklyn Bridge?||History of Team Names
Los Angeles Dodgers. The club was originally the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers from 1890 - 1957, it was shortened to Dodgers, and the name stayed with the team when they moved to Los Angeles in 1958. I had thought the name might have something to do with dodging the war ('draft dodgers').
Seattle Pilots. The American League's Seattle Pilots only lasted one season, 1969 in Seattle, before a ton of problems sent them packing to Milwaukee, where they became the Brewers starting in 1970. Interestingly, the Milwaukee Brewers were one of the charter American League franchises in 1901, but only lasted one season, and ended up in St. Louis, where they were the Browns (who left St. Louis after 1953 for Baltimore, where they became the Orioles). The Braves were a National League team, who came from Boston and later left for Atlanta, and the Spiders were Cleveland's old National League entry, a team that starred Cy Young but were gone after 1899.
|The Toronto Maple Leafs have been playing since 1917, but did not become the Maple Leafs until 1927. What was the name of the team immediately before they became the Maple Leafs?||Original Team Nicknames
St. Patricks. When the Leafs began play in 1917, they actually had no name. They were referred to as the Torontos or Blueshirts, but neither was the official name. They officially became the "Arenas" in 1918, simply because the arena they played in owned them. They were renamed the "St. Patricks" in 1919 in recognition of the city's growing Irish population. Beginning in 1927, they were the "Maple Leafs", as coach, general manager, and part owner Conn Smythe wanted a close association with Canada and it's maple leaf symbol. He paid no attention to the grammatical inaccuracy of the name.
|In Boston, their Red Sox are as much a part of that city's fabric as clam chowder and Paul Revere. But, from their beginning in 1901 until 1907, what did the good denizens of this city refer to the Sox as?||Original Team Nicknames
Americans. The Boston Americans were one of the original American League franchises. Over time, fans and media began to refer to them as "RED SOX" because this was a prominent uniform feature. It became official in 1908. The Bees, Doves, and Beaneaters are all old names for the Braves who started in Boston, moved to Milwaukee at the end of the 1952 season, and on to their home in Atlanta after the 1965 season.
Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Pistons moved to Detroit in 1957 from Fort Wayne, Indiana, because owner Fred Zollner wanted to be able to compete financially with teams from the larger cities such as Philadelphia and Boston.
|The New York Yankees have won MLBs World Series many times. In 2000, they won it for a mind-numbing 26th time. They won a total of zero under their old monikers (yes, they had more), but which one was their first one?||Original Team Nicknames
Baltimore Orioles. In 1901, the Baltimore Orioles began play as a charter member of the American League. They lasted for two seasons before being bought. The franchise was bought by Frank Farrell and Bill Devery, and moved to Manhattan. They played in a park situated on a high hill at 168th St. and Broadway, and became known then as the "Highlanders". In 1913, the Highlanders officially changed their name to the Yankees. Superbas is a former name of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the Knickerbockers, aside from being New York's NBA team, were a team that played in the very first baseball game in 1846.
|Dallas was a one time home to a professional football team known as the Texans. Of course, they moved and changed their name, but to what?||Original Team Nicknames
Kansas City Chiefs. While in Dallas, the Texans fared very well, but facing competition in town from the new Dallas Cowboys in the NFL, owner Lamar Hunt decided it was best for his team and the entire American Football League if he moved his franchise. He did, to Kansas City, and renamed the Texans the Chiefs. They would be the most successful of the AFLs franchises, winning the AFL title 3 times, representing the AFL in the first Super Bowl against the NFLs mighty Green Bay Packers. The Denver Broncos were an original AFL member as were the New York Jets (although called the Titans in their early years). The Houston Texans have only played for seven years.
|The Stars are the name of the National Hockey League team from Dallas, but not always, though. Who were they?||Original Team Nicknames
Minnesota Northstars. The Dallas Stars started as the Minnesota Northstars in 1967, and while some sportscasters would call them the Stars for short, this was never their official name. They remained there before moving to Dallas and becoming simply the Stars(officially) after the 1992-93 season. Rumor has it that briefly they were considering becoming the Lonestars, but it never came to fruitition. The Desperados are a member of the Arena Football League.
|The Philadelphia 76ers are part of the NBAs Atlantic Division in the Eastern Conference. Who were they before that?||Original Team Nicknames
Syracuse Nationals. The Sixers were born in 1963 when the Nationals of Syracuse were bought by two Philadelphia businessmen and moved south to Philadelphia. The Warriors were already in Philly, but around this same time were leaving for San Francisco, taking Philly-born great Wilt Chamberlain with them. The Philadelphia Stars were a team in the old United States Football League, while the Saratoga Nationals never existed.