In the second-biggest move involving the Yankees and fish on Monday, the team’s high Class A affiliate announced it had changed its name from the Tampa Yankees to the … Tampa Tarpons.
For those unaware, a tarpon is a large, tropical fish known for its feistiness. The name change is the second of the minor league offseason. On Dec. 8, the Gwinnett Braves changed their name to the Stripers. So for those keeping score, we’re 2-for-2 on fish names, one freshwater, one saltwater.
Tampa’s new name comes, of course, with new logos. The primary art was designed by Studio Simon, who helmed last year’s Memphis Redbirds rebrand among many others throughout the minor leagues. Studio Simon, run by artist Dan Simon, also designed the logos for the Yankees’ low Class A and Double-A clubs, the Charleston RiverDogs and Trenton Thunder.
The Tarpons announced the name change on Monday morning via press release in a move that calls to mind the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp from last year, which happened without a fan-voting contest or any warning whatsoever.
"We have great fans in Tampa," Tarpons GM Vance Smith said. "This is Tampa's team, and this name and brand identity honor the community and celebrate Tampa's rich baseball history."
Next season won’t be the first time the Tarpons play in the Florida State League, however. The Tarpons played in the FSL from 1957 through 1987.
Sure, the Yankees landing Giancarlo Stanton might get the most headlines, but the Tampa Tarpons just made one of the biggest splashes of the offseason.