Same name, different city

It’s very rare, but occasionally there will be minor league teams with the exact same place-name and nickname. This is an alignment of two same name cities (e.g. Portland, ME and Portland, OR) and same nicknames (e.g. Huntsville Stars and Las Vegas Stars). What increases the odds of this overlap is the COTOB effect. Especially in the second half of the 20th Century, there were so many minor league teams that shared their nickname with their parent club, so the likelihood of coincidence was greater.

On this page, I’ll collect these teams as I become aware of them. This is a live page, and not (yet) a comprehensive list.

 

Burlington Indians

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[L-R] Freddie Marsh, Burlington (IA) Indians, 1947; Luis Tiant, Alamance Indians, 1963; Jim Thome Burlington (NC) Indians, 1990

There have been no fewer than three affiliated minor league teams that have been called the Burlington Indians, all of whom took their nickname from their affiliation with the American League’s Cleveland franchise. The first team called the Burlington Indians was from Burlington, Iowa, and played in the long-defunct Central Association from 1947-1949. The second team in question hailed from Burlington, North Carolina, and played in the Carolina League from 1958-1964, though this team may not have officially been called the Burlington Indians. Newspapers from the time tended to call them the Alamance Indians (after Alamance County) and the team caps featured an A, though some sources (including Baseball Reference and the Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball) call this team the Burlington Indians. The third team called the Burlington Indians also played in the North Carolina city, a club that competed in the Appalachian League from 1986-2006.

 

 

Jackson Generals

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Jackson (MS) Generals, Jackson (TN) Generals

The first team called the Jackson Generals was a Texas League team that played in Jackson, Mississippi, serving as Double-A affiliate of the Astros from 1991-1999. The second Jackson Generals came about when the Southern League’s West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx decided to change their name after the 2010 season. The Diamond Jaxx played in Jackson, Tennessee, and they opted to switch from the directional place name to something more city-specific. For their nickname, they chose one that had kicked around for the first few years of the Diamond Jaxx’s existence. The Jackson (TN) Generals play in the Southern League to this day, alongside the Mississippi Braves, a team that slid into the Jackson, MS market a few years after the original Generals left town. In 2019, the Jackson Generals squared off in a Southern League match-up against Mississippi, and the Braves wore throwback uniforms honoring a Texas League club that went belly-up twenty years hence–the Jackson Generals. Here’s an image of how the game looked.

 

 

Springfield Cardinals

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Springfield (IL) Cardinals, Springfield (MO) Cardinals–Texas League version

Here is a simple formula for this rare phenomenon: “Springfield” is one of the most common city names in the US and “Cardinals” is likely one of the most (if not the most) commonly-used minor league team nicknames of the last 100 years or so. Surely, multiple versions of “Springfield Cardinals” were bound to match up. One of the first-ever affiliated farm clubs was set up by St. Louis Cardinals Owner Branch Rickey in Springfield, Missouri, a member of the Western Association circuit. In 1931, this newly-affiliated club changed their name from the Springfield Midgets to the Springfield Red Wings, an early example of a DimDer identity. In ’32, the team was called the Springfield Cardinals, and remained as such (for the most part) through World War II. Just as the Missouri club was fading away, another team called the Springfield Cardinals (also affiliated with St. Louis) emerged in the smallish city of Springfield, Ohio. These Cardinals played in the Middle Atlantic League from 1941-1942 before folding with the rest of the league during the War. Flash forward four decades, and the Midwest League welcomed a new club to Springfield, Illinois that was called, you guessed it, the Cardinals. These Cardinals flew away in 1993 and that franchise now plays as the Great Lakes Loons. In 2005, the big club in St. Louis bought a Texas League team and plopped them down in good ol’ Springfield, Missouri. They gave them their nickname, and the teams plays as the Springfield Cardinals to this day, nearly ninety years after the first Springfield Cardinals.

 

 

 

 

 

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