From SABR member Benjamin Hill at MiLB.com on June 7, 2016:
In today’s Minor League landscape, which is populated by RubberDucks, Chihuahuas and Blue Wahoos, a name like “Mudcats” seems comparatively tame. Conservative, even. But in 1989, when the Double-A Columbus Astros adopted this bottom-feeding fish moniker, it was a move far ahead of its time.
This particular name change, like many name changes before and (especially) since, was precipitated by a change in ownership. Steve Bryant, owner of the Capital Outdoor billboard advertising company, bought the Southern League franchise prior to the 1989 campaign and still owns the Mudcats today (albeit in a different form, as the Mudcats moved to Zebulon, North Carolina, in 1991 and switched to the Carolina League in 2012 when the original Double-A franchise relocated to Pensacola). Today, the Carolina Mudcats are the Class A Advanced affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.
Rather than keep the “Astros” name — at that time, the vast majority of Minor League teams had the same name as their affiliates — Bryant and his new general manager, Joe Kremer, solicited fans for suggestions. Thousands of responses poured in, at which point team executives and stockholders narrowed the choices down to a select few.
“We actually sat down at a little restaurant/bar-type place. We had all these different names,” said Kremer, now in his 28th season as Mudcats general manager. “This was Columbus [home of Fort Benning Army base], so we had Generals and Colonels and names of that sort. But one of them was ‘Scrambled Dogs.'”
Read the full article here: http://www.milb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20160603&content_id=181739818&fext=.jsp&vkey=news_milb&sid=milb
Originally published: June 7, 2016. Last Updated: June 7, 2016.