Minor League teams on MLB's shutdown list are looking to rebrand

Ben WeinribYahoo Sports Contributor

One of the many joys of Minor League Baseball is the unique team names. From the Biscuits and Yard Goats to the Rubber Ducks and Flying Squirrels, teams have been able to create unique mascots beyond the run-of-the-mill Tigers, Wildcats and Eagles of other sports.

The latest team to join in on the fun is the Connecticut Tigers, which announced on Friday that it will become the Harwich Sea Unicons for 2019. Fans in the Constitution State can grab the hottest new narwhal-themed baseball gear already.

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But fans may want to jump on this new gear soon because the Sea Unicorns may not be long for Minor League Baseball. The franchise is one of 42 that Major League Baseball has proposed slashing in the name of saving money.

The move to eliminate a quarter of all minor league teams is not official, and there’s no timetable for a change yet either. MLB still has to negotiate its Professional Baseball Agreement next year, but it seems plausible that not all 162 teams will be around in the near future, much to the dismay of fans, owners, and at least one presidential candidate.

The Connecticut Tigers’ name change was likely already in the works by the time the news of possible contraction came out, but it could also serve as a carrot to make sure their franchise stays by boosting its popularity as well as ticket and merchandise sales. The Missoula PaddleHeads — né Osprey — also changed their name in early November and are hoping to avoid getting snapped.

MLB’s proposal could move the number of Americans without local access to professional baseball from 57.4 million to 68.2 million and leave rural states like Montana and Vermont entirely devoid of it.

Let’s hope this potential move doesn’t rob us of some of the best minor league team names as well.

The Connecticut Tigers rebranded as the Norwich Sea Unicorns, but that may not last for long. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)
The Connecticut Tigers rebranded as the Norwich Sea Unicorns, but that may not last for long. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

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