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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

The Top 10 Choices For the Pirates’ New Minor League Team Name in Morgantown

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be moving their NYPL affiliate from Jamestown to Morgantown next year, playing in the new baseball stadium that will be built for West Virginia University. So far, the team doesn’t have a name, but that will change soon. The Morgantown franchise released the ten finalists for the team name. You can vote on that name until Friday, October 17th at 5 PM by going here. Below are the names, along with some thoughts on the name choices (the descriptions are from the voting page).

Black Bears –The official state animal of West Virginia, Black Bears live in all 55 counties of the state. A large and ferocious animal, a black bear would strike fear into any opponent.

Off to a strong start. Having a ferocious animal is a plus. But I think the real benefit here is that it opens up a lot of Dwight Schrute marketing campaigns. Minor league baseball has the best campaigns, which means we could probably look forward to a “Bears, Beets, and Battlestar Galactica” night in Morgantown one night.

Black Diamonds –A nickname for coal that also has a baseball twist, as the game is also played on a diamond. A diamond is seen as something valuable and important, just as the coal industry has been to West Virginia.

Before I read the description, I thought of two things. The first was a black diamond snake. As a person who has an Indiana Jones level of fear for snakes, I’d say no. Then I thought about ski slopes. That would open up a ton of horrible Bob Nutting jokes from the crazy Pirates fans who have ignored the last two seasons and still think the Pirates can do no right. Thus, it might be worse than the snakes.

Canaries –The canary was the underdog hero of many coal miners in the past. These birds were used to protect workers from dangerous mine conditions. 

I can’t think of a less threatening name. Sadly, I think this one is going to win due to the kid factor. Back when Richmond added a team, they held a similar vote, and “The Flying Squirrels” won, mostly due to the Rocky and Bullwinkle connection. If they make a Sylvester and Tweety connection here, this one is over.

Coal Kings –Another reference to the coal mining industry of West Virginia’s past. There is no more royal figure than a King, who towers over opposition.

This sounds like a reality show on The History Channel.

Coal Sox –A variation of a tribute to the coal mining industry of the region. The Coal Sox represents a team and players that will work hard together to achieve their goal of victory.

Anything with the word “Sox” is out, because it would be confused with a Red Sox affiliate. Or a White Sox affiliate, which has the Hawk Harrelson connection.

The Energy –From coal to natural gas, West Virginia has been a major energy producer for decades. The new baseball team will bring a high level of energy and excitement to every game they play.

This is close to “The Power”, or “The West Virginia Power”. That name has the double meaning because “power” is a tool that is highly sought after in baseball. I’m not saying energy isn’t sought after. I just don’t think it’s as mainstream. Also, “Morgantown Energy” sounds like a power company.

Moonshiners –A favorite of the mountaineer, moonshine has been made in the hills for over 300 years and is one of West Virginia’s oldest traditions.

This name is awesome. There’s no way I think it’s allowed, but I love that it made the finals. There’s nothing like good moonshine. And no, I don’t mean the stuff they now sell in liquor stores. I mean the kind you get when you’re up all night cooking a pig in December, and everyone is passing around a mason jar of clear liquid, or in some cases, colored liquid with fruit inside and after a while you dare someone to eat the fruit. Basically the giveaways and the $1 beverage nights with this name would be amazing.

Muskets –A trusted companion of the mountaineer, the musket was essential to the settling and protection of West Virginia. It’s a symbol of the mountaineer’s fighting and independent spirit.

I don’t know what to say about this one. Does anyone still use muskets? Do you want to name a team after something obsolete?

Wild Ones – The ‘Wild and Wonderful’ state slogan of West Virginia dates back to 1969. The Wild Ones helps encapsulate West Virginia’s pride and passion to the beautiful territory that makes up this state.

Rule #1 of naming a minor league baseball team: never name it after a Flo Rida song.

The Wonder –Another version of the ‘Wild and Wonderful’ state slogan. There’s no doubt the amazing plays in the field will be a wonder equally as beautiful as the West Virginia landscape.

This is a worse version of “The Energy”. Which is a bad version of “The Power”.

My vote? Black Bears. But only if they do the Dwight Schrute promotion.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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Paul Hartman

Somebody please tell Tim that the Black Bear is NOT a ferocious animal, unless you’re a threat to a mother’s cubs? Polar, Grizzly, Brown, etc. ? Yes, ferocious, definitely. But the Black Bear will normally run the OTHER way when confronted by a human. That’s not what we’re looking for in a team name/mascot.


Alright my friends. My entry is the “Muskets” and I need your support. I have many ways to convince you (bribes, shameless naked lady posts or homemade pierogies). But I’m above all that. I’m begging because 4 season tickets for my family of which are some serious, serious Pirate fans is what I want. I vist this site daily and always agree with EVERYTHING you all post. Just keepin it real !!!

Also I forgot to you. My next child will be named “Bucco”.

C’mon gang. That’s a winner!!


I’m all in for Moonshiners!

Monsoon Harvard

I’ll go with the Moonshiners, but I’m also still waiting for there to be a team named ‘The Chickens’. I don’t think it will ever happen, but anything is possible.



“Thunder Chickens” was the runner up name for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals when the team was created in 2007. The team took the field one night in 2012 with the Thunder Chicken logo as part of a promotion. The hats and shirts worn by the Arkansas players were auctioned after the game was over


Maybe in Chillicothe?


I think all of the Pirates minor league affiliates should be The Pirates. Let it sink in on the prospects.


how about couches


I like Bandits.


could see them doing energy since WV is power


How bout shortening the Moonshiners to Shiners. Then you would ‘Eers and ‘Shiners!

Kevin Snyder

How about the Bad Mother Fu#@$rs?


I kinda like canaries just because it would have a cool hat and minor league teams are basically meant to have stupid names.


I like Black Bears – but why not “The Shale” – It is what is driving economies of Pa and WV


And why not Mountaineers?


West Virginia University is located in Morgantown – mascot is the Mountaineer. Licensing issues would probably prevent it.


Black Bears, Moonshiners and Wild Ones oh my!!!

➖ Dorothy

I’ll vote for Black Bears. Bears are cool, unless one is chasing you.


As I recall, running down hill is the only way to elude a chasing bear 🙂


It will be a name and mascot that appeals to children,take that to the bank. The voting will mean absolutely zero, though that will never be admitted.


I’d pay to see ’em ‘shiners play. Not a big fan of most of these. I’m surprised Copperheads didn’t make it.


Treasonous Democrats were called Copperheads during the Civil War. This might not be the best name for a team in a border state. It’s in the same place as, say, the Nashville Carpetbaggers or the Louisville Bloody Shirts.


80-grade Office reference.

Michael Jackson

It should be the Morgantown Mothmen


Different part of West Virginia – Point Pleasant I think.

Michael Jackson

Close enough. It’s not like there were ever any pirates in Pittsburgh.


Google the origins of the team name – it is very apt 😉


Dear god, could it please not have anything to do with coal??


I guess they should change the Steelers name too?


Could be worse:


Morgantown Firebugs


Morgantown Mountain Mamas?

Country roads…
Take me home…
To the place…
I belong…
West Virginia…
mountain mama…
take me home…
country roads.

Don’t know that I have ever seen a picture of a “mountain mama”. Could still work in the black bear as a mascot (mama bear).

John Dreker

From 1931-33, then again in 1937 and 1939, there was a minor league team in Huntington, WV called the Boosters. I like going with historical names and the Huntington connection is always good. Morgantown Boosters


I’m not sure the folks in Morgantown would like to take anything from Huntington. Marshall and WVU do not exactly get along.


My suggestion would be the WV Mountain Men. Bunch of big tough guys.

John Dreker

My suggestion was the Coal Tuckers, derived from those workers that tucked coal into their jacket as they left to help warm their family. It sounds like a first round pick to me


(Meant to delete… Is there a delete button??)


I could be wrong but wasn’t there a 3 man team called the black Diamonds on a king of the hill episode? I like the idea of black bears personally but none of them are too awful


If it was up to me, I’d call them the Morgannas.


Make for a helluva logo !!!! They could always claim they were mountains.


The high school I went to were the Canaries.


Canaries was also a term for people who informed on others.


MLB has a team called the Brewers, so hoping they allow for the Moonshiners, which should win the vote in a landslide.


Continuing with the alcohol reference – how about:

Morgantown Highballers

A Highball is any mixed drink served in a tall glass (Scotch and Soda, Gin and Tonic, Rum and Coke are all examples of a Highball).


Coal and moonshiners are both around, but are both mostly a thing of the past.


Personally, I live up from a coke plant (coal refinement). And I’m only about 40mins from Pittsburgh. Moonshine is in a renaissance spurred by craft beer. I’ve been wanting to get a still while someone in my family still knows my grandfather’s recipe. Both are still very here and now in WV. If you really want to go cutting edge in WV you’d have to call them the Meth Freaks or the Oxycontins.


Coal is the thing of the Past…..???
You are living on planet Obama. (probably won’t be allowed)


Morgantown Carbon Polluters, then.


Good point.

dr dng

No…. The state is moving forward… No need to look back.


Moving, to where?

dr dng

To me, this is a slam dunk. Black Diamonds is the way to go. Still could use the Pirate colors (black) and bring in some WVU (Pirates) gold.

Black Diamonds is already a very popular name for amateur sports teams that represent WV. Yep, that’s the way to go.

“The Energy” would also be good, but the Pirates low A team and the next team up for the team in Morgantown is the West Virginia Power and that just might be too confusing.


My first vote is Moonshiners hands down.

But Canaries is growing on me…


Prospects are kind of the canaries of a baseball organization, if you think about it. I like it.

William Wallace

Being a lifelong resident of WEST VIRGINIA and a WVU grad- and since the team is located in Morgantown How about ” the school with the bloated bureaucracy and famous for academic fraud” nickname. I know it is a mouth full but it hits home.

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