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The weirdest minor league team names in Yankees history

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Strange minor league team names have a long and storied tradition.

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Minor league team names have almost always been far crazier and more interesting than major league team names. In current times, it's a deliberate effort to be sillier. Teams like the Hartford Yard Goats (Rockies's Double-A) have popped up, even a collegiate summer league team just named themselves the Savannah Bananas. Teams need to do things like that to build a fan base in a system where the rosters are going to be almost entirely different from season to season.

Even in the distant past, minor league team names were pretty weird, though in the early days of minor league baseball, it probably wasn't as intentional. A lot of the time, they tried to find a name that went along with the city name. It might not have seemed that strange at the time, but decades later the "South Bend Benders" just sounds weird.

The Yankees' minor league system has had it's share of fun and weird names over the years. Here is a collection of some of the best.

In 1933 and 1934, the Yankees had an affiliate in Wheeling, West Virginia called the "Wheeling Stogies". This was likely due to the fact that Wheeling was home of a cigar manufacturing company. Going out on a limb here, but a name based on a tobacco product probably wouldn't be allowed today.

In 1937, the Yankees had two different teams in two different cities called Norfolk. One team, the Tars, was located in Virginia and played in the Piedmont League. The other, the Elks, was in Nebraska and were in the Nebraska State League.

From 1939-42 and then 46-51, the Amsterdam Rugmakers were affiliated with the Yankees. Amsterdam, New York was known for its textile industry, which is where the name came from. It probably sounds a bit too much like a euphemism to be used today.

For one season in 1948, the Yankees had an affiliate in Blackstone, Virginia known as the Barristers, which is a type of lawyer found in England, Australia, and other countries once under British rule. A Goggle search finds the Blackstone Chambers, "a leading set of barristers chambers in the Temple district of central London," but that seems like a weird thing to name a baseball team after.

For two seasons in 1955-56, Monroe, Louisiana hosted a Yankees' affiliate called the Monroe Sports. That's just good advertising.

From 1960-62, the Yankees' Double-A affiliate was located in Amarillo, Texas and were called the Gold Sox. Now, it probably wasn't a dig at the Red Sox, but we can hope that it was.

Affiliations in the early days of baseball weren't as rigid and changed every season, leading to some Yankees' minor league teams bearing the nickname of other major league teams. In 1947, they had an affiliate called the Victoria Athletics. In 1955, they had two different affiliates called the Twins. One was in Bristol, VA and the other was in Winston-Salem, NC. Admittedly, that was a few years before the Washington Senators moved to Minneapolis and became the Twins, but still.

Minor league team names seem to be getting weirder by the year. While this may be sort of true, odd names have always been a major part of Minor League Baseball.