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Minor League Baseball Loves its Mascots, from the Iron Pigs, to the Yard Goats, to the Lugnuts

Chris Fernsler
Sports Writer

Who cares if they can play the game?

The best part of Minor League baseball is the mascots. The team names cause a buzz. They sell tickets, and they turn the fans out to the games.

Above all, the mascots create a sense of pride for the baseball fans. The team names get the fans excited about coming to the ball yard. And why not with mascots like the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs and the Hartford Yard Goats?

Lehigh Valley plays in the International League. Harford plays in the Double- A Eastern League. Another coveted member of the Eastern League is the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

The same league also includes the Akron Rubber Ducks, the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, the Erie Sea Wolves and the Portland Sea Dogs.

Over in the Pacific Coast League there are some more popular mascots with the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Las Vegas Aviators, the New Orleans Baby Cakes and the Portland Storm Chasers. Those teams play Triple-A baseball.

The International League plays at a high level, too, with the Gwinnett Stripers from Metro Atlanta, the Toledo Mud Hens and the Scranton/ Wilkes- Barre Rail Riders.

Southern League baseball also has some fan favorites with the Montgomery Biscuits, the Chattanooga Lookouts and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. Jacksonville’s Minor League baseball alumni include Tom Seaver, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Henry Aaron, Jerry Koosman, Bud Harrelson and Amos Otis.

All of those players went on to achieve Major League baseball fame. As for the teams down on the farm, there are some more unique Minor League mascots with the Texas League Amarillo Sod Poodles and the Fayetteville Woodpeckers of the Carolina League. The Class A Florida State League has some uncanny team names, too, with the Charlotte Stone Crabs and the Jupiter Hammerheads. The Midwest League is the proud home of the Lansing Lugnuts as well.

Lansing plays Class A baseball.

The author of this article can be reached via email at [email protected]