Can You Unscramble the Names of All 30 MLB Teams?

SPORTS

By: Beth Hendricks

6 Min Quiz

Image: The New York Mets / Chicago White Sox / Oakland Athletics / Detroit Tigers / MLB

About This Quiz

We could cue up the lyrics to Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless the U.S.A.” when it comes to Major League Baseball, and the descriptions would match the teams perfectly: “From the lakes of Minnesota (Twins), to the hills of Tennessee/Across the plains of Texas (Rangers), from sea to shining sea/From Detroit (Tigers) down to Houston (Astros) and New York (Yankees) to L.A. (Dodgers) ...” It’s like Greenwood was thinking of America’s favorite pastime when he wrote that song!

And it is at least America’s “national pastime,” according to one newspaper that said so back in the 1850s. (Of course, the first collegiate football game wouldn’t be played for almost another two decades, but we digress.) The years that followed were legendary: Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Jackie Robinson. The Bronx Bombers. The Gashouse Gang. The Big Red Machine. There’s no questioning the rich history of baseball ... and baseball in America. 

Today, there are 30 MLB teams from coast to coast, giving you the opportunity to don the colors, grab your ball cap and mitt and home “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” alongside 30,000 of your closest friends. Despite declining numbers at ballparks across the country, nearly 70 million people took in a game during this past season. 

Were you one of the 70 million? Let’s test your baseball IQ with this mixed-up mash-up of scrambled MLB team names. Can you untangle the letters to identify teams from the Angels to the Yankees (and all varieties of “Sox”)? Batter up!

Champs! The “slaaiotnn” are the 2019 World Series titleholders. What team is it?

The Washington Nationals finally brought a World Series title to the nation’s capital in 2019 after several attempts at a Nationals franchise in D.C. The Nationals were formerly known as the Montreal Expos, before heading south in 2005.

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Fans of the “eewrrsb” are one of six fan bases in MLB that have never celebrated a World Series title. Who do they cheer for?

The Milwaukee Brewers keep trying, but they are one of six franchises in Major League Baseball that has never world a World Series title. They appeared in the World Series in 1982 but lost to the Cardinals.

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Throughout history, this team’s name has included both the words “legs” and “stockings.” Now, they are simply known as the “sdre.” Which team are we referencing?

The Cincinnati Reds used to have much longer (and more complicated to unscramble) team names, including the Red Stockings and the Redlegs. Today, they are simply the Reds, owners of five World Series titles.

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You can visit a popular mountain range while checking out a “cksiero” game, but first you need to know which of these it is. What’s your guess?

The Colorado Rockies, not surprisingly, are named for the Rockies (or the Rocky Mountains) that inhabit the Denver, Colorado area. The Rockies were established in 1991 but didn’t begin play until two years later.

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Someone affiliated with the “rdnasliac” invented the farm system, which MLB relies on for training and finding young talent. What squad are we talking about?

It was Branch Rickey who created the foundation of the minor-league farm system that teams still use today. Rickey, who was a Cardinals manager, is also credited with signing Jackie Robinson, breaking the league’s color barrier.

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This team started in New York before making a cross-country journey to become the “ddgreso.” Which franchise is it?

The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t always been in sunny California. The franchise actually got its start in Brooklyn but moved across the country before the start of the 1958 season.

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In 2018, this team broke a 108-year World Series championship drought. Can you unscramble the “ucsb?”

When the Chicago Cubs won the World Series in 2018, they broke the longest title drought in professional baseball — 108 years without a championship. In fact, it was the longest drought in all professional sports.

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The “dsobmaacdink” joined MLB in 1998 and won its first World Series three years later. What team is it?

The Arizona Diamondbacks joined Major League Baseball as an expansion team in 1998 and became the quickest to ever win a World Series title, just three years later. And they beat the Yankees to do it!

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You may hear people call this team the “Bucs,” but make no mistake: their team name is the “sateipr.” Which one of these is it?

The Pittsburgh Pirates are often referred to as the “Bucs,” a nod to the word “Buccaneer,” which is often used in place of the used “Pirate.” The team has been the Pirates since 1891.

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Blue and orange: The “estm” combined the colors of the two teams that left New York to make up the new one. What team are we talking about?

When the New York Mets came along, they did so as a result of the departing Giants and Dodgers. But they held onto pieces of both teams, combining the colors blue (Dodgers) and orange (Giants) to serve as the Mets’ new color scheme.

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Baltimore is big on birds! They have the Ravens and MLB’s “ooselri.” What team is it?

The Baltimore Orioles and the Ravens (Baltimore’s NFL team) complement each other in the “bird” category. The Orioles’ nickname was selected to honor Maryland’s state bird and have been based in Baltimore since 1954.

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This team knows how to accessorize: Their team name, the “dre oxs,” is based on the color of their hose. Which of these is it?

Some teams are named for animals; others for valiant warriors. The Boston Red Sox are named for the color of the hose, or socks, they’ve historically worn with their uniforms. Hey, we’re not hating — accessories are life!

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We call them the Bronx Bombers, but you might know them best as the “seeknay.” Which franchise are we talking about?

The New York Yankees are the Major League Baseball team that everyone loves to hate. And for good reason. The squad has 27 World Series championships to its credit, far more than any other MLB team.

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San Diego’s only pro sports team is the “drepas,” after the NFL’s Chargers left in 2017. What is this team’s name?

The San Diego Padres are the lone professional sports franchise now in “America’s Finest City.” The Chargers left for Los Angeles in 2017, leaving the Padres alone to capture the hearts of pro sports fans.

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They took the “Devil” out of their name in 2007, but the “ayrs” stuck. How would you unscramble it?

They began as the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, but are now just the Tampa Bay Rays — since just after the 2007 season. The nickname is meant to pay homage to Florida’s sunny climate, though the manta ray ocean creature still plays into its branding.

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Winner, winner, “aignts” dinner! Which of these franchises has won baseball’s largest number of games?

The San Francisco Giants hold the record for most games won in the history of American baseball. They have been playing since 1883, when the team was known as the New York Gothams.

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The “inrlsma” once belonged to Florida as a whole. Now, they identify more closely with Miami. What is the unscrambled word?

The Marlins went by the name the Florida Marlins when they first entered MLB as an expansion team in 1993. In 2011, the team once awarded to the CEO of Blockbuster changed its name to the Miami Marlins.

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What other name do the “Motor City Kitties” go by? Try to untangle “grseit.”

The Detroit Tigers are known by locals as the “Motor City Kitties,” a nod to the town’s automotive roots. The Tigers have been a fixture in the Detroit sports arena since 1901. That’s a lot of baseball!

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The original owners of this team transferred one of its brand words to the team name itself: The “lube yajs.” How do you unscramble this?

The Toronto Blue Jays were simply meant to be blue. Incorporating the color from Toronto’s other pro teams and from its original owners, who manufacturer the beer known as Labatt’s Blue, the “Red Jays” just wouldn’t have sounded the same!

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The 1989 movie “21-Mascot” used this team as its storyline. Can you unscramble “dinnias?”

The Cleveland Indians lent its name to the popular sports film starring Charlie Sheen, titled “Major League.” The movie was about the Indians’ fictional owner hiring a team of slackers to help the team fail, only to achieve the opposite results.

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One name and one location are the hallmarks of the “silhlepi,” one of the oldest franchises in professional sports. Do you know what it is?

Philadelphia has been home to the Phillies since 1890. A few years before that, the team was founded — still in Philly — but went by the name “Quakers.” Unlike many other teams, they’ve only ever been in Philadelphia.

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The nickname “yolasr” pay homage to a livestock and horse show that takes place in the team’s hometown. Which of these is it?

The American Royal is the event that the Kansas City Royals derived its name from. The “Royal” is a combo livestock and horse show, as well as a cooking competition and rodeo in the Kansas City area dating back to the early 1900s.

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Minneapolis and Saint Paul share equal parts in the “wints” name for a very logical reason. What team are we referencing?

The Minnesota Twins got its name thanks to the “Twin Cities” of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Twin cities are towns located near to one another whose growth over time causes them to mesh together.

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NASA has had an impact on at least one MLB team — the “rostas.” Can you unscramble it?

The Houston Astros, like the town’s NBA team the Rockets, are named in honor of the city’s presence among NASA’s space programs. Specifically, the Astros were named following the opening of the Manned Spacecraft Center.

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An elephant serves as the mascot of the “theascitl,” at first bearing the name “Harry Elephante.” Which team is it?

The Oakland Athletics adopted an elephant as its mascot in the early 1900s, finally created an on-field mascot they dubbed “Harry Elephante” in the mid-1980s. Today, he is known as Stomper.

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Water and wildlife played into the name of this team, the “ranierms.” Can you unscramble it?

Seattle’s presence on the coast and marine wildlife in the area helped contribute to its MLB team’s name — the Mariners. Throughout history, the team’s colors have included shades of greens and blues to reflect that influence.

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The “nraegrs” got its name from a Texas law-enforcement agency. Do you know what it is?

If you’re in Texas and talking about the Rangers, you better get clarification on whether it’s the law enforcement agency or the baseball team based in Arlington. The team has been called the Rangers since the early 1970s.

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A singing cowboy was the original owner of the “slange.” Which team did Gene Autry help found?

The actor and singer Gene Autry was one of the first owners of the Los Angeles Angels, choosing the “Angels” nickname in honor of a previous team with that moniker. The Angels became part of MLB in 1961.

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“Twihe Oxs?” Which of these teams has a green mascot?

Can you imagine why a team known as the White Sox would have a giant GREEN mascot? We can’t either. The Chicago White Sox mascot, though, named Southpaw is a big ... green ... thing. Yeah, that’s it!

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This team has gone through a slew of nicknames, including the Bees, the Doves and this current one – the “vbares.” Which team is it?

You likely recognize the Braves as belonging to the city of Atlanta, but they weren’t always. The team was once in Boston and Milwaukee. Fun fact: They remain the only MLB team to win a World Series in each location.

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