The OKC Dodgers Are History. Thank God.
11:45 AM EST on December 15, 2023
Whenever a sports team changes its name, it’s usually for one of three reasons…
A) It’s racist. You know, names like Redskins, Savages, or any of the other problematic high school nicknames you’ll find dotted across the rural Oklahoma landscape.
B) It’s part of a desperate re-brand to garner attention and increase merchandise sales.
C) The original name is so terribly and poorly thought out that the team has no other choice but to switch things up.
I bring this up because the Oklahoma City Dodgers – OKC's AAA baseball team – announced they’re changing names yesterday, primarily due to a unique combination of reasons B & C above.
Well, I guess this explains the Dodger's big Cyber Monday sale! I wonder if they'll give out any refunds?
Regardless, this is fantastic news!
Sure, Oklahoma City Baseball Club is a boring name – and using the state logo as the counter in the letter O is cliche and doesn’t fit the style of the typography – but it sure beats the Dodgers!
I was highly critical of the team’s out-of-state owners when they changed to the Dodger brand almost a decade ago. This was because…
1. As a diehard Chicago Cubs fan, I will never cheer for a team called the Dodgers, and will especially never ever ever be caught wearing any sort of Dodgers gear or memorabilia. I assume local fans of the Cardinals, Rangers, Astros, Royals, Yankees, Red Sox, and all other teams that are more popular in OKC than the Dodgers felt the same way, hence the name change.
2. The name Dodgers has no historical or cultural connection to OKC. Well, that is if you exclude the time-honored OKC tradition of dodging potholes around town after a snowstorm. We actually tried to get the team to adopt Potter the Pothole as a mascot a few years ago, but that idea was too cool and creative for the team to adopt:
Back when the team made the switch from Redhawks to Dodgers in 2014, I criticized them for not going back to the 89ers name that every kid who lived in OKC from 1960 – 2000 so vividly and fondly remembers, especially if they survived being mobbed while chasing down a foul ball on the grassy hill along left field.
It looks like the team is going that nostalgia route in the rebrand:
The 89ers idea made sense in 2014, but with the recent push to not celebrate white-manifested mythologies that glorify the conquering of North American native peoples during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, it’s probably best to keep the old 89ers moniker in the nostalgia bin.
That being said, I think everyone – from the wokest woke to rightest righty – would appreciate the irony in watching the 89ers play at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
With 89ers probably being a no-go, one compromising alternative could be the OKC Abners in honor of the late great Abner 89er.
I don’t know where it is, but somewhere, someplace, there’s an old Abner 89er mascot costume outfit collecting dust in an old storage bin. If you’re the owner of that, please donate it to the Oklahoma History Center. We can't let the out-of-state Dodgers owners gain possession of it.
IT BELONGS IN A MUSEUM!!!
That being said, if you own Robo Niner, please feel free to burn it:
If Abner doesn’t work, we could also call them the OKC Balbonis:
Unfortunately for Oklahoma City, the people who get to choose the new name are the same people who thought Dodgers was a good idea, so we’ll probably be stuck with something like OKC Flycatchers or OKC Shales or OKC Big Leaguers or something like that.
But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, OKC Dodgers is history and the OKC Baseball Club is here. That's great news. Now if only they can figure out a way to add the Iowa Cubs to the schedule, I can care about going to an OKC minor league baseball game again.