Baseball Toaster Mike's Baseball Rants
This is my site with my opinions, but I hope that, like Irish Spring, you like it, too.
Frozen Toast
Google Search
Mike's Baseball Rants


10  09  07 
06  05  04  03 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
Links to MBBR
"I'm My Own Grandpaw"
2004-11-15 18:14
by Mike Carminati

I know that they were once owned by a cowboy, but I never knew that the Angels were big Lonzo & Oscar fans. Word up:

The Angels are looking to change the team's name, or rather affiliation, back to the Los Angeles Angels. Maybe they are just trying to model themselves on the LA Clippers. At least they're doing better now than as the Buffalo Braves, Bob McAdoo notwithstanding.

What is it with California teams? The Raiders are from Oakland, no LA, no Oakland—"Debbie! The car! Debbie! The car!" The old hockey team was known as the California Seals, then the Oakland Seals, then the California Golden Seals—sounds like what Ahnold uses to sign off on legislation. Then they chucked it all and committed, er, rather moved to Cleveland. What's next? Are the Golden State Warriors changing back to San Fran? What do we expect when the second-largest population area in country hasn't even had an NFL franchise for ten years, after losing two in the same year?

Some of you might remember that the Angels came into this world bearing the name of decade's old Pacific Coast Team, the LA Angels, in their old PCL stadium, Wrigley Field. They moved into Dodger Stadium but (unlike the NY Jets) refused to play in a stadium named for another team. When the Angels were home, all of a sudden Dodger Stadium became Chavez Ravine. To quote Seinfeld, "Yeah, and I'm Jerry Cougar Mellencamp."

In 1966, the Angels got their own stadium in Anaheim and like most youngsters who move out on their own, got something pierced. Well, it wasn't that dramatic, but they changed their name to the California Angels. When Disney bought the Angels, the changed their affiliation to Anaheim and then stuck them in a crappy movie. I'm not talking about the Enrico Palazzo scene in "The Naked Gun", in which a hypnotized Angel (Reggie Jackson of all people) attempts to murder the queen with a gun hidden under second base. No, that was classic. I mean that Tony Danza-Danny Glover master opus. Hey, any role in which Danza uses some other first name but his own (and doesn't emote "Angela!") is enough of a struggle, but he was actually cast as a two-foot tall star pitcher, making Corbin Bernsen's flailings as third baseman in "Major League" look like Brooks Robinson.

So now the Angels want to return as a dog returneth to his vomit. Do they think they'll lure more fans from Chavez in search if rally monkeying? More than they'll lose in alienating their current fan base with the name change? I doubt it. The Anaheim City Council already voted that they would sue if the Angels change saying it "would constitute a direct violation of the Angels' lease agreement with the city."

"I told them that we are exploring concepts of economic growth opportunities, which do not force our fans to bear the burden of our payroll," Angels president Dennis Kuhl said. "Large-market franchises have a corporate appeal that can create advertising revenues, which allow an organization to field a high payroll."

The Angels are third in attendance but according to Kuhl had the 23rd-lowest average ticket price this season and "finished in the bottom half of broadcast revenues". So this all may be a ploy to get some other issues addressed.

However, if it does happen, it won't be the first time a major-league changes its name to something new and then ends up changing it back and most of the time it is done by new ownership groups:

Boston Braves19111935
Boston Bees19361940
Boston Braves19411952
Cincinnati Reds18901953
Cincinnati Redlegs19541959
Cincinnati Reds19602003
Brooklyn Dodgers19111913
Brooklyn Robins19141931
Brooklyn Dodgers19321957
Philadelphia Phillies18901942
Philadelphia Blue Jays19431944
Philadelphia Phillies19452003

On January 30, 1936, the Braves new owners asked for a new name from newspaper writers after a 38-115 season and were given Bees. The name fell into disuse after the team fell from 79-73 in 1937 to 65-87 in 1940.

The Reds changed their nickname pusillanimously to "Redlegs" during the McCarthy era and bravely changed when no one was watching.

The Dodgers were known as the Robins for manager Wilbert Robinson, but after Uncle Robbie retired, they returned to the (Trolley) Dodgers appellation.

When Robert Carpenter bought the Phils, he had a contest to rename them which produced the short-lived "Blue Jays" name, now little more than a cruel omen presaging Joe Carter. I also remember a story that they tried to change their name to Live Wires in the 1890s, but it never stuck.

Actually, early on nicknames were based more on a color or an identifying trait about the area(e.g. Milwaukee Brewers). And once the name stuck, it often got reused. This was especially true in the minors, but it did have some effect in majors especially in the early days. Here's a list of recurring names:

Baltimore OriolesAA18821891
Baltimore OriolesNL18921899
Baltimore OriolesAL19011902
Baltimore OriolesAL19542003
Boston Red CapsNL18761882
Boston Red SoxAL19072003
Boston Red StockingsNA18711875
Boston RedsUA18841884
Boston RedsPL18901890
Boston RedsAA18911891
Brooklyn AtlanticsNA18721875
Brooklyn AtlanticsAA18841884
Buffalo BisonsNL18791885
Buffalo BisonsPL18901890
Chicago White SoxAL19012003
Chicago White StockingsNA18711875
Chicago White StockingsNL18761889
Cincinnati Outlaw RedsUA18841884
Cincinnati Red StockingsAA18821889
Cincinnati RedlegsNL19541959
Cincinnati RedsNL18761880
Cincinnati RedsNL18902003
Cleveland BluesNL18791884
Cleveland BluesAA18871888
Cleveland BluesAL19011901
Indianapolis HoosiersAA18841884
Indianapolis HoosiersNL18871889
Indianapolis HoosiersFL19141914
Kansas City CowboysUA18841884
Kansas City CowboysNL18861886
Kansas City CowboysAA18881889
Milwaukee BrewersUA18841884
Milwaukee BrewersAA18911891
Milwaukee BrewersAL19011901
Milwaukee BrewersAL19701997
Milwaukee BrewersNL19982003
New York GiantsNL18851957
New York GiantsPL18901890
New York MetropolitansAA18831887
New York MetsNL19622003
Philadelphia AthleticsNA18711875
Philadelphia AthleticsNL18761876
Philadelphia AthleticsAA18821890
Philadelphia AthleticsPL18901890
Philadelphia AthleticsAA18911891
Philadelphia AthleticsAL19011954
St. Louis Brown StockingsNA18751875
St. Louis Brown StockingsNL18761877
St. Louis Brown StockingsAA18821882
St. Louis BrownsAA18831891
St. Louis BrownsNL18921898
St. Louis BrownsAL19021953
Syracuse StarsNL18791879
Syracuse StarsAA18901890
Washington NationalsNA18721872
Washington NationalsNA18751875
Washington NationalsUA18841884
Washington NationalsAA18841884
Washington NationalsNL18861889
Washington SenatorsNL18921899
Washington SenatorsAL19011960
Washington SenatorsAL19611971

And it looks like the Angels and the Expos, whose proposed name is Washington Nationals, may join the list soon.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.