MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HAS SOME CRAZY NAMES

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HAS SOME CRAZY NAMES

THE OPENING LINE
By Ron Kantowski Las Vegas Sun

MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL HAS SOME CRAZY NAMES

I was Googling for a minor league baseball jersey to add to my collection the other day when I came across a link for a "Nevada Lunatics" T-shirt.

Great, I thought. Even our state legislators have their own merchandise line.

But the T-shirt had the image of a baseball player on the front, which piqued my interest. Could the Silver State actually have been home to a pro baseball club with a more bizarre nickname than 51s?

Actually, 51s doesn't seem like such a bad name anymore. Las Vegas 51s. Like a bad haircut, it kind of grows on you. There are worse number monikers. Such as the NBA (No) D-League outfit that calls itself the Colorado 14ers, who might want to consider changing their name before NBC's next "To Catch a Predator" show.

(Actually, 14ers is the nickname used to describe Colorado's many 14,000-foot mountain peaks.)

But I must confess that Lunatics would be a great name for a baseball team - especially if Bill "Spaceman" Lee or Dizzy Dean pitched for it.

Alas, sad to say, the Nevada Lunatics have nothing to do with our Nevada. The Lunatics were a class D team that began in Missouri just after the turn of the century.

They were named for the state asylum in Nevada, Mo. They played in the Missouri State League, which operated from 1902-04 before its surviving members formed the Western Association.

In addition to the Lunatics, the Missouri State League also was home to the Jefferson City Convicts, the Springfield Midgets, the Sedalia Gold Bugs and the Iola Gasbags.

You may not be able to buy everything on the Internet, but you can purchase an Iola Gasbags T-Shirt. Amazon.com, 22 bucks.

So if you see me at a 51s game this summer, come by and we'll talk Missouri State League baseball. I'll be the Lunatic dressed like a Gasbag - or the Gasbag dressed like a Lunatic.

big_smile

mvbski
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