Baseball's long, slow, hot, gorgeous season has begun, not just in those cities hosting Major League teams but smaller cities and towns across the country. According to this list on Wikipedia, there are 27 minor and independent leagues in North America, many with teams named after those most endearing and non-threatening of mascots: birds.
You likely haven't heard of most of these teams unless you live in one of America's small municipalities or, like, did a project in school about minor league teams or something. Well, friend, relax. Let me save you the trouble of figuring out which teams have done a good job with their avian themes, and which ones are unworthy of their winged mascots.
Rochester (NY) Red Wings
Toledo Mud Hens
AAA - PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE
mascot has a yellow bill. I love Memphis, but I'm furious.
Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo
Pericos de Puebla
Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz
AA - EASTERN LEAGUE
Reading Fightin' Phils
AA - TEXAS LEAGUE
HIGH-A - CALIFORNIA LEAGUE
HIGH-A - CAROLINA LEAGUE
Myrtle Beach Pelicans
saying so. This logo does a great job not overcompensating for a nontraditional mascot by making it overly aggressive or tough. I love the look. However, I have to dock points because American White Pelicans don't like in South Carolina. Sorry, but I can't let that slide.
HIGH-A - FLORIDA STATE LEAGUE
Dunedin Blue Jays
Palm Beach Cardinals
LOW-A MIDWEST LEAGUE
Great Lakes Loons
South Bend Silver Hawks
LOW-A SOUTH ATLANTIC LEAGUE
SHORT SEASON-A NEW YORK/PENN LEAGUE
SHORT SEASON-A NORTHWEST LEAGUE
ADVANCED ROOKIE LEAGUE - APPALACHIAN LEAGUE
Bluefield Blue Jays
Johnson City Cardinals
ADVANCED ROOKIE LEAGUE - PIONEER LEAGUE
Idaho Falls Chukars
What's so irksome about made up crap like RedHawks or IronHawks is that there are plenty of badass, native raptors just sitting there for the taking. No one else wanted osprey, the ubiquitous neighborhood avian stunner? So glad Missoula stepped up. It's not a perfect logo color-wise, but it' beautiful. What birder wouldn't wear this hat?
INDEPENDENT LEAGUE - AMERICAN ASSOCIATION
Sioux Falls Canaries
this rad logo. Alas. As is, it's pretty good for a canary so I'm OK here.
INDEPENDENT LEAGUE - ATLANTIC LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL
Long Island Ducks
INDEPENDENT LEAGUE - CANADIAN AMERICAN ASSOC. OF PRO BASEBALL
INDEPENDENT LEAGUE - UNITED LEAGUE BASEBALL
cap flying off the bird's head as it's running. It's adorable, and perfectly fitting for a Texas team. The colors are way off, but I appreciate the effort.
WHELP that's all. There are a lot of avian teams in Minor League Baseball and we're all better off for it. I hope you enjoyed, and if you've got a favorite team I'd love to hear it.