Ah, minor league baseball—one of the most nostalgia inducing sporting events across the country. The only place on earth where you don’t know 95% of the players on the field, and small children gorge themselves on cotton candy, soft pretzels, and dippin dots in small plastic hats.
If you asked me, the minors is one of God’s greatest gifts to man in the weird and wild world we live in.
With nearly 200 minor league teams dotted all across the country, some of the wackiness that we live in each day has made it into the world of underpaid professional baseball. Whether you knew about it or not, there are some minor league mascots across the US right now that seriously make me question who we put in charge of these organizations. So today, I decided to take the liberty and rank the top 10 most ridiculous mascots I could find, tell you a little about their history, and maybe drop a fun fact or two as well. Let’s get this rolling with No. 10…
Auburn Doubledays – 10th Place
Starting off with the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Nationals is the quirky and strangely named, Auburn Doubledays. Located in Auburn, NY, I personally thought this was just a play on words of “doubleheader”. Turns out I was farther off than I could have hoped for.
The team’s name derives from a man by the name of Abner Doubleday. This dude who was born in the 1830’s, was a Civil War general credited with inventing the game of baseball. Strangely enough, historians have debunked this claim, which would make this mascot essentially just a dead guy who liked playing “stickball” before the lightbulb was even invented.
Nonetheless, the Doubledays have produced some pretty notable players during their existence in the likes of Roy Oswalt, Adam Lind, and Brett Cecil just to name a few.
Ridiculous rating 5.4/10
Binghampton Rumble Ponies – 9th Place
It is pretty obvious that adding any adjective before the word “ponies” can change the connotation of what a small horse embodies pretty drastically. Enter the Binghampton Rumble Ponies.
Out of all the adjectives in the English language, the Mets AA-affiliate chose to use the word rumble. I’m not against the name mainly cause it rolls off the tongue nice, but I think you could EASILY call this team a multitude of different things that make a little more sense, or at least make things a little more comical. For example, the party ponies, flying ponies, or Lil’ Sebastians would all turn a few more heads than the “Rumble Ponies” in my opinion.
P.S. Tim Tebow had a pretty decent stint when he was playing for them last season which is pretty cool too.
Ridiculous rating 5.7/10
Florida Fire Frogs – 8th Place
The Kissimmee, FL Fire Frogs have only existed since the 2017 season and have been associated with the Brewers, Expos, and Marlins before becoming the Class-A affiliate of the Braves 2 years ago. Some very notable alumni have sprouted from the organization i.e. Ryan Braun, Orlando Arcia, and Lorenzo Cain.
Learning how the ball club came to the conclusion of naming their team the fire frogs is actually a pretty interesting read if you would like to know more here. The abridged version though, is that it descents from Puerto Rican heritage, is based upon the native coquí frog, and the mascot is a unique way to embrace the culture associated with the area. Well done Fire Frogs, and welcome to Florida.
Ridiculous Rating 6/10
Lansing Lugnuts – 7th Place
Founded all the way back in 1955, the Lugnuts have been sitting on this theoretical list for decades. Based in Lansing, MI, the Lugnuts have been associated with the Blue Jays for 14 seasons and recently hosted an 18 year old Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for 71 games back in 2017. A few other household names that have made their way through Lansing are Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Rowdy Tellez.
I think it’s a clever callback to Michigan’s history of producing cars to have the lug nut as the mascot for the team. In all candidness though, it still is such a poor choice to have a piece of hardware as the face of a professional sports team. I don’t think there is much debate about that.
Ridiculous Rating 6.2/10
Amarillo Sod Poodles – 6th Place
Alright, I think that it’s safe to say that if you have to Google what exactly a certain mascot is, it’s probably not a solid choice to land on. What I mean by that is, I have no clue what a sod poodle is nor do I have the will to look it up.
This Padres affiliate is in its very first year of existence up in Amarillo; Which proves that MiLB executives are still coming up with the greatest team names in sports to this day. Plus, the Sod Poodles stadium is simply known as just “Hodgetown” which is amazing of its own right.
Ridiculous rating 6.6/10
Modesto Nuts – 5th Place
As much as I want to make some type of sexual innuendo about this team, I am choosing to refrain in this section. Located in sunny Modesto, California, the Nuts are property of the Seattle Mariners, but have been affiliated with the Rockies as well as the Oakland A’s prior to 2017.
There have been some absolutely incredible players to have passed through this team at some point in their career. Almost to the point where it’s shocking seeing it on paper. Here’s just a handful of those names:
Ricky Henderson, Jose Canseco, Nolan Arenado, Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, and Charlie Blackmon.
That list is great and all, but the real question still staring me in the face is, “Why the hell would anyone on God’s green Earth make an almond a mascot?”
Your guess is as good as mine.
Ridiculous Rating 6.9/10… nice.
Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp – 4th Place
Were all of the other finger foods already taken as mascots? I get the team is based in Florida, but what a lame (and very weird) mascot for a AA-affiliate. The Jumbo Shrimp have been playing under that name for 3 seasons now and have been affiliated with the Marlins for a solid 10 years.
What is most surprising about the Jumbo Shrimp, is the fact that they are one of the top 30 most valuable minor league teams according to Forbes. That is quite a feat when the embodiment of your team is just a crappy piece of seafood.
Ridiculous rating 7.4/10
Montgomery Biscuits – 3rd Place
Who in their right mind thought it would be a great idea to personify a biscuit? I have several questions about why anyone thought it was a good idea to make fluffy and buttery bread into a mascot. This thing is absolutely terrifying.
If you are not being paid to play on this team, there is no excuse for anyone who happens to own any type of memorabilia associated with the team. Whether that is a shirt, hat, plastic bat, or anything else, you need Jesus, period.
Ridiculous Rating 8.3/10
New Orleans Baby Cakes – 2nd Place
Coming in at second on my list is the wonderful and also completely terrifying New Orleans Baby Cakes…
The Baby Cakes are slated to move to Wichita, Kansas next season which HOPEFULLY rid the world of this mascot forever. This team like many others on this list came into existence back in 2017. Unlike the others though, this team is a AAA-affiliate rather than a rookie or A-ball affiliate.
I am sure any one on the Marlins who gets sent down to the freaking Baby Cakes takes a massive morale hit knowing they are being sent to the worst team in the minors. Nonetheless, I would have put this team first, but I really do think that the team I have on top, blows the Baby Cakes out of the water on every single level.
Ridiculous Rating 9.1/10
Rocky Mountain Vibes – Undisputed Champion
Alrighty ladies and gentleman, it’s time to meet the most ridiculous mascot professional sports has to offer. Meet, Toasty of the Rocky Mountain Vibes.
Toasty is the embodiment of everything that is right and wrong with the world at the same time. One might call Toasty the Yin and Yang of baseball. What your eyes are looking at is a cartoon s’more, throwing up a peace sign, that looks scarily like Guy Fieri. None of those statements belong in the same sentence, and yet this incredible abomination was born from those exact three things. The story gets better when you find out that Toasty is less than a year old as the Vibes used to be known more simply as the “Sky Sox” up until November 2018. That means that Toasty is here for the long haul everyone.
Regardless, this Rookie League Brew-Crew affiliate has made a name for itself and will forever be enshrined as one of the best professional sports mascots of all time.
Ridiculous rating 10/10
In summary of this whole article, everyone has things going on in their life that completely and totally suck. No one in this country agrees with each other anymore, and yet leave it to baseball to bring people together in unity to appreciate the absurdity of their minor league mascots.
Cover Image courtesy of sportslogos.net