This post, originally published on Major League Baseball’s Opening Day 2019, features a fun gallery of photos of the birds commemorated by North American professional sports teams. It would be a pretty brief gallery if we stuck to baseball, since only three MLB teams qualify for this list. So we’re also recognizing teams from the NFL, NBA, and NHL — 11 species in all that inspired the names of 12 teams. The photos are from our Reader Galleries.
Of course, several minor-league baseball teams and a number of college sports programs are named for birds as well. If you’d like to see more galleries like this, let us know!
The Pittsburgh Penguins of the National Hockey League were so named in the 1960s in part because of the alliteration of the name. But the team also played in an arena commonly known as "the Big Igloo" so the name seemed appropriate. The team's name doesn't reflect a particular penguin species, but to my eye, the Gentoo Penguin seems to be a close match to the hockey-stick-carrying bird in the team's logo. Photo by Christian Sanchez
Related: The home of the Milwaukee Bucks is the world’s first bird-friendly arenaOriginally Published
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