Friday, January 12, 2018

One Odd Pig

There has been a recent craze in the Minor Leagues with goofy/ridiculous team nicknames.  It's always been there to some degree, but recently it feels like teams are just trying to one up each other with the bizarre and unusual.

RailRiders?  Baby Cakes?  Jumbo Shrimp?  Sigh.  

There is one goofy nicknamed Minor League team that I have some appreciation for.......

The Iron Pigs replaced the Ottawa Lynx in the International League in 2008.  They have been the Phillies Triple A team for their entire run over the last 10 years.  

What makes this "unique" nicknamed team more acceptable than teams like the Baby Cakes?  

There are so many places I could go here.  I think my favorite thing about the Iron Pigs has to be their uniforms.  If you are intrigued with the team you can go check out their Twitter pages, one of them is at @PorkCenter, or the teams various mascots, racing and non-racing, which are borderline scary.  

Back to the uniforms.  You can find all of these on their webpage.  There are the standard unis which you can frequently see the team wear if you follow along with Triple A baseball......

Pretty standard looking uniform.  There is obviously a road grey version, and an alternate blue with the word "Pigs" written across the front in a cursive like script, but with a name like the Iron Pigs you know there is also going to be something goofy.  

There most well known is the Bacon USA jersey.....

I believe that this was the team's first sort of "different" uniform.  It might have actually started with just the bacon hat though.  I didn't do a ton of research on this post.  You're welcome to comment at the bottom if you know the answer.  

Which brings me to some of their uniforms which have more of a fun take on something that has to do with the Phillies, again their parent club.

My two favorites are their powder blue alternate jerseys....


which are a variation on the 1980s Phillies powder blue road uniforms.  This is how I remember the Phillies looking when I first started watching baseball.

If you prefer something older, I also like their take on the Whiz Kids......

which is a play on the 1950s Phillies teams and the city of Philadelphia's love of cheese steak sandwiches.  Not a huge fan of the cheese-wiz variations, but they are fine for the sake of making this alternate uniform a winner.

Again, goofy name, but I like that they can draw on some history.

All of this brings me to my latest Minor League baseball card.  Obviously it's an Iron Pigs card.  It's a little bit of an oddball too.  I think I have been here with a Topps Heritage Minors coin card before.....

I like the front of the card with the picture of Phillies shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford donning an Iron Pigs jersey.  Crawford is a pretty intriguing prospect and pretty enjoyable to watch.  The whole coin/card thing has become a standard feature in many of the different Topps sets, all of those things are a positive.

Which brings me to the oddness of "Cubs Break The Bank" above J.P. Crawford's name on the bottom of the card.

This is a Phillies card?  Excuse me, Iron Pigs?  Right?


It appears that the card, I should have posted yesterday so it would be on the date on the card, is actually all about two Cubs players signing a contract before the 1967 season.  One of the players is an outfielder, one is a third baseman, and J.P. Crawford is a shortstop.

I am failing to see how Crawford, Billy Williams, and Ron Santo have anything to do with each other.  It wasn't an expensive card, and since I wanted an Iron Pigs card, I am going to go ahead and ignore all of the Cubs names on the card.

Perhaps someone at Topps was watching that episode of Cheers where Cliff goes on Jeopardy.  Great episode and perhaps the only thing that these three baseball players have in common......


  1. Baby Cakes? Five years ago, I probably would have started a PC for them. Back then, I was obsessed with collecting draft busts too.

  2. I enjoy the wackiness of some of the MiLB teams and logos. Baby Cakes is a big swing and a miss for me, but at least New Orleans will sell some merchandise. Locally we have the Binghamton Rumble Ponies and the Syracuse Chiefs, who moonlight as the Syracuse Salt Potatoes - which I have a sneaking suspicion we'll see more and more here soon.