Like a Baseball in the Sky

~ Wes Westrum

Next week is the first week of the dragon boat season and to kick it off, the club held a fundraising mixer at a local sports bar. I caught up with a few ladies I know from the team, as well as dodgeball, who were very interested in the sports being broadcast on all the TV screens around the place. We were able to watch the last period of the hockey play offs (go Bruins!) and then a bit of the baseball, and then began discussing team names. The general consensus is that teams that are named after natural disasters and ferocious animals are aptly named, as their names would evoke fear in their opponents. Oddly, Toronto's Major League Baseball team is called The Toronto Blue Jays - which are just loud and obnoxious birds that are rather harmless - however there are two other teams named after birds, The St. Louis Cardinals and The Baltimore Orioles. Today's question is:
why are baseball teams named after birds?

I love a truly random question - a big thanks to Anne Mather, who posed this on Friday night!

St. Louis joined the major leagues in 1891 originally called the Perfectos, it’s said a sportswriter overheard a woman in the stands say the uniforms were a “lovely shade of Cardinal” in 1899. The scribe took it and ran, and within a year, the name was made official.

In 1954, Baltimore acquired a team called the St. Louis Browns. With new ownership, came a new name, which was the Baltimore Orioles after Maryland's state bird.

Torontonians were asked for input in naming the city's baseball team. One of the suggestions was “Blue Jays”, and the team owners — Labatt Breweries — chose the name to coincide with their best-selling beer, Labatt’s Blue. it’s believed they hoped the team would be referred to as the “Blues,” but that backfired, as the “Jays” are the preferred shortened name for the franchise.