The tastiest alternate identity in every farm system

January 29th, 2024

Over the last decade, Minor League Baseball teams across the nation have made it a habit to temporarily change their name to one that pays homage to a regionally beloved delicacy. When considered as a whole, this array of food-based identities makes a smorgasbord too rich and marvelous for a single meal, but one certainly worthy of admiration.

Here are the most appetizing alternate identities from every Major League club's farm system. Grab some napkins and dig in.


Blue Jays: Manchester Chicken Tenders (Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats)
Did you know? The Puritan Backroom, a diner in Manchester, N.H., is the birthplace of the chicken tender. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats made their Manchester Chicken Tenders debut in 2022, following a fan vote to determine which flavor of chicken tender should be depicted on the uniforms. “Classic” was the winner, beating out Buffalo and Coconut.

Orioles: Lumpia (Triple-A Norfolk Tides)
Norfolk, Va., has a large Filipino population, many representatives of which settled in the area after serving in the military. This prompted the Tides to unveil Minor League Baseball’s first Filipino-themed alternate identity, the Lumpia. A spring roll-like snack, lumpia is a staple of Filipino cuisine.

Rays: Kimchi (Double-A Montgomery Biscuits)
The Montgomery Biscuits represent food every time they take the field, but that doesn’t mean they can’t switch things up once in a while. Their Kimchi identity, which debuted in 2021, is a key component of their annual Korean heritage theme night.

Red Sox: Maine Bean Suppahs (Double-A Portland Sea Dogs)
The Sea Dogs are major players in the alternate food identity game, as their roster includes Red Snappers, Clambakes, Whoopie Pies and, yes, Bean Suppahs. This moniker, spelled as a Mainer would pronounce it, celebrates communal Saturday night dinners of baked beans, red snapper hot dogs and brown bread.

Yankees: Cider Donuts (High-A Hudson Valley Renegades)
Baseball players are the boys of summer, but the Renegades went positively autumnal with the 2023 season’s Hudson Valley Cider Donuts identity. The logo set features a lovable yet somewhat intimidating mascot named Dusty, who survives and thrives despite the fact that someone took a bite out of him.


Guardians: Sauerkraut Balls (Double-A Akron RubberDucks)
Sauerkraut balls are a Northeast Ohio specialty, traditionally served on New Year’s Day. The RubberDucks announced their Sauerkraut Balls identity on the first day of 2023, featuring a deep-fried pork and sauerkraut combination leaping jubilantly into marinara sauce.

Royals: Runzas (Triple-A Omaha Storm Chasers)
Runzas are simple and satisfying fare, consisting of beef, cabbage and onions stuffed into a bun. They are beloved in Nebraska, prompting the Storm Chasers to debut a Runzas-themed look in 2018. It’s been an annual tradition ever since.

Tigers: Pepperoni Balls (Double-A Erie SeaWolves)
Akron’s not the only Double-A Eastern League locale with an AL Central parent club that paid tribute to a spherical deep-fried regional specialty in 2023. The SeaWolves’ Pepperoni Balls identity honors an Erie favorite, consisting of pizza dough, cheese and, of course, pepperoni.

Twins: Groupers (Single-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels)
In 2018, when Fort Myers’ team was still known as the Miracle, they played as the Groupers for one night only. This was a celebration of what they claimed was Southwest Florida’s favorite fish. The logo features a grouper on a bun, topped with lettuce and tomato. Call it a GLT.

White Sox: Q’s (Single-A Kannapolis Cannon Ballers)
The city of Kannapolis hosted its annual “Jiggy with the Piggy” barbecue festival last May, and right on cue, the Cannon Ballers made their debut as the Q’s. In addition to being shorthand for barbecue, the Q resembles the shape of a pig’s tail.


Angels: California Burritos (Single-A Inland Empire 66ers)
Everybody knows what a burrito is, but take note that the San Bernardino-based ‘66ers have suited up not just as any burrito, but California Burritos. These, unlike the burritos from other, lesser states, often include french fries.

Astros: Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits (Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks)
The Corpus Christi Hooks play at Whataburger Field, and in 2021, they teamed up with their naming rights partner to create a Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits identity. Never before had a popular fast food breakfast sandwich been represented on a professional baseball diamond.

Athletics: Olive Burgers (High-A Lansing Lugnuts)
Olive Burgers -- a beef patty adorned with a mayo and chopped olives mixture -- are a Central Michigan staple. The Lugnuts paid tribute for the first time in 2023, with competitive eater Joey Chestnut at the ballpark as a special guest. Inevitably, Chestnut set a new olive burger-eating world record.

Mariners: Nuts (Single-A Modesto Nuts)
No teams in the Seattle system have unveiled a food-based alternate identity, but no matter. The Modesto Nuts, stalwarts of the California League, represent edibility on a day-in, day-out basis. The team’s name is a nod to one of the area’s primary agricultural exports.

Rangers: Donuts (Triple-A Round Rock Express)
Round Rock, Texas, located just outside of Austin, is home to a nearly 100-year-old donut shop with the self-explanatory name of Round Rock Donuts. The Express suited up as the Round Rock Donuts for the first time in 2023 and, not surprisingly, it was a hole lot of fun.

NL East

Braves: Pimento Cheese (Single-A Augusta GreenJackets)
The Augusta GreenJackets are named after the green jacket worn by winners of the Masters Tournament, whose signature concession item is the pimento cheese sandwich. It only makes sense, then, that Augusta’s first food-related identity was Pimento Cheese, which debuted in 2019.

Marlins: Crabzilla (Double-A Pensacola Blue Wahoos)
"The worst uniforms in sports history” usually wouldn’t be considered a selling point, but that’s how the Blue Wahoos advertised their 2021 Crabzilla identity. The orange and black duds featured a crab sulkily staring out from the rear of the pants, and it was all a tribute to the since-discontinued Crabzilla sandwich. This gargantuan concoction included soft-shell crab, pork belly and crab macaroni and cheese.

Mets: Salt Potatoes (Triple-A Syracuse Mets)
When you boil small potatoes in salt, the result is a salt potato. This simple yet elegant side dish is a Syracuse specialty, and in 2017, the Mets (then known as the Chiefs) first paid homage. It’s been an annual tradition ever since.

Nationals: Plates (Triple-A Rochester Red Wings)
The Red Wings’ Plates identity is a riff on Garbage Plates, a customizable local specialty featuring some combination of meat, starch and sauce. The Rochester Plates face off against their rival Syracuse Salt Potatoes in an annual “Duel of the Dishes” series, with the winner receiving the coveted Golden Fork trophy.

Phillies: Hoagies (Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs)
You might call them subs, or maybe grinders, but in the Philadelphia area, hoagies is the only acceptable term. The Lehigh Valley IronPigs made their Hoagies debut in 2023, celebrating meat, cheese and vegetables on a long roll.

NL Central

Brewers: Brats (High-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers)
If, like many, you’ve longed to see suspenders and lederhosen incorporated into a baseball uniform, then the Wisconsin Brats are your new favorite team. The Timber Rattlers employ this incomparable aesthetic as part of an annual celebration of German heritage, sausage and the intersection thereof.

Cardinals: Cashew Chickens (Double-A Springfield Cardinals)
Some sixty years ago, a Springfield, Mo., chef by the name of David Leong created a dish of fried chicken, roasted cashews and chopped green onions. Cashew Chicken has been a local favorite ever since, and in 2023, Springfield’s baseball team paid homage to this Chinese-American classic.

Cubs: Still Waiting
Our crack team of researchers failed to unearth a food-themed identity to have emanated from within the Chicago Cubs’ farm system. Our suggestion is for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans to play as the Bog Balls, a nod to a South Carolina specialty consisting of chicken, rice and sausage mixed together into a ball and fried.

Pirates: Pizza (Double-A Altoona Curve)
Altoona-style pizza -- a notorious creation of the Altoona Hotel -- is topped with American cheese and cut into squares. The Curve went all-in on celebrating this much-derided local specialty in 2023, suiting up as the Pizza for six straight games in August.

Reds: Derby City Mint Juleps (Triple-A Louisville Bats)
Louisville is known for bourbon and horse racing, and the Bats’ Derby City Mint Juleps encompasses both. This sprightly identity debuted in 2019, honoring the official drink of the Kentucky Derby. The uniforms feature two shades of mint, with the drink itself boasting a horseshoe for a nose.

NL West

D-backs: Calf Fries (Double-A Amarillo Sod Poodles)
Calf fries -- known in other regions as Rocky Mountain oysters -- are a fried-food delicacy. (If you don’t know what they are, ask a local). The Sod Poodles suited up as the Calf Fries on seven occasions in 2023, with the delicacy in question available at the concession stands. It’s an acquired taste.

Dodgers: Pepinillos Picantes del Norte (High-A Great Lakes Loons)
The Loons participate in Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión program, dedicated to celebrating Hispanic communities. Pepper games are allowed when they play as the Pepinillos Picantes del Norte, a tribute to the region’s agricultural workers.

Giants: Los Churros (Single-A San Jose Giants)
Hippolito “Super Churros Man” Cerda has sold his secret recipe churros at San Jose Giants games for decades. The team’s Churros identity, also part of Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión program, is as much a tribute to Cerda as it is to the desserts themselves.

Padres: Hoosier State Tenderloins (High-A Fort Wayne TinCaps)
Pork tenderloin sandwiches, beloved throughout the Midwest, originated in the Fort Wayne area. The TinCaps have mounted a campaign to make them the official sandwich of Indiana, highlighted by the debut of their Hoosier State Tenderloins identity this past August.

Rockies: Green Chile Cheeseburgers (Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes)
Green chiles are ubiquitous in New Mexico, incorporated into all manner of food items. The Isotopes unveiled their Green Chile Cheeseburgers identity in 2017, paying homage to a staple of Albuquerque-area bars and restaurants.