“I said. A contract’s. A contract.”
On an instinctive level, just about everyone feels that it must have been much easier to become a professional athlete a hundred years ago than it is now. Part of that stems from our general belief in progress—each year we get stronger, faster, better at writing hilarious jokes about American topics. Shut up, it’s called intangibles, ask a scout. Another part of this belief comes from the leaps and bounds our scientific knowledge about human physiology has made in the past century. We know how to handle, and prevent, injuries, how to train our bodies in the most efficient ways- we’re no longer blindly hoping that we were born as naturally athletic freaks like Jesse Owens. Oh, and speaking of that, we also stopped limiting our professional athletics to random white guys who tended to get lucky enough to get exposed to sports right when they were being invented. That’s a huge step.
The distinct disparity between, say, baseball athletes today and those during the Dead Ball Era might not have anything to do with this article, but it is important to note that Rupert Mills, who you have never heard of (unless you caught a brief story about him in our article about silly baseball team names), almost definitely would not have been considered a world class athlete if he were competing today. And that’s okay! Hell, he wasn’t considered a world class athlete when he was competing 100 years ago! But maybe, in a weird way, the ability for “good but not stellar” athletes to play on a national stage in the 19th century was a blessing in disguise, because sometimes the best stories happen when a sport’s not yet at the point where it’s fully taken seriously. Because while the level of play in 2015 might be higher than it was in 1916, you’ll never see a player show up to an empty field every day in order to take advantage of a loophole in his contract to get paid.
That’s what Rupert Mills did, and Rupert Mills was hilarious and amazing, and that’s only part of his story.
Rupert Mills: The One-Man Team of the 1916 Federalist League
“Let’s go Stogies! No wait that can’t be right, can it? We’re not honestly called that, right?”
~Pittsburgh Stogies fans
A few weeks back, we talked to you about some late 19th and early 20th century professional baseball team names that we felt were, frankly, kind of ridiculous. We’ve not always been great at naming teams, and well, considering the Phillies we’re still not that great at naming teams, but we’ve at least phased out the worst offenders. From the Columbus Solons to the Cincinnati Kelly’s Killers, there are a whole slew of defunct major league baseball teams that had laughable, absurd names, and some of them even managed to not be from Ohio.
That said, as ridiculous as those names were, they weren’t the only ones out there. So we combed through the history of major league baseball to find some more hilarious names, because we’re easily amused when drunk.
More of the Silliest Major League Baseball Team Names of All Time
Posted in All things baseball, Athletes, Strange America
Tagged America, Baseball, baseball team names, Brooklyn Tip-Tops, Federal League, Hartford Dark Blues, Major League Baseball, MLB, Newark Peppers, Pittsburgh Stogies, Rupert Mills, Silly Names, St. Louis Terriers, Troy Trojans, Union Association, Wilmington Quicksteps
“Boring? What are you talking about? Baseball is exciting!”
~Baseball fan on his fourth beer
Photo from Moose135 Photography
Baseball is our national pastime in the same way that many of our “best friends” are people we were close with in elementary school who we only get to see every couple of years ever since they moved to the West Coast. We still say it’s our most iconic sport, but if we’re being really honest with ourselves we’ve liked watching football better for some time now. As society makes “sitting still for three hours for a game where everyone just stands still doing nothing for the vast majority of the time” an increasingly difficult source of entertainment to get excited about (though we do our best to make it worthwhile through alcohol and insane food) it’s important to remember that baseball hasn’t always been the dusty icon it is now.
It used to be much, much sillier. Don’t believe us? Just look at some of the teams that existed during the early years of Major League Baseball. These are teams that people paid money to watch, and actively claimed to root for. The 19th century and early 20th century were hilarious, basically. So before you can even say “What is a Met, really?” let us present you with…
The Silliest Major League Baseball Team Names of All Time
Posted in All things baseball, Strange America
Tagged America, Baseball, Brooklyn Bridegrooms, Cincinnati Kelly's Killers, Columbus Solons, Lee Richmond, Los Angeles Dodgers, Major League Baseball, Mike King Kelly, MLB, Mutual Base Ball Club of New York, Silly Names, Toledo Maumees, Worcester Worcesters