Sports Teams With the Same Names

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Sports are a blast, aren’t they? And I’m not only talking about the action on the field, but also the wild moments, quirky happenings, and other oddities that surround them.

One of those things is when teams from different cities and different sports end up with the same name. It’s like a cosmic coincidence or a giant game of name-tag mix-ups. (Or, it could just be the fact that there are only so many intimidating names a franchise can adopt!)

Let’s take a lighthearted dive into some of these instances and explore the teams that share the same name, their history, logos, mascots, and more.

  • Giants: New York (NFL) and San Francisco (MLB)
  • Cardinals: Arizona (NFL) and St. Louis (MLB)
  • Jets: New York (NFL) and Winnipeg (NHL)
  • Rangers: Texas (MLB) and New York (NHL)
  • Kings: Sacramento (NBA) and Los Angeles (NHL)
  • Panthers: Carolina (NFL) and Florida (NHL)

The Giants

First up, we have the New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants.

On one hand, we have the New York Giants, a football team known for their “larger-than-life” plays on the gridiron (sorry, I’ll try and keep the puns to a minimum). As a football team, I’d say it fits. I like to picture it like this: a massive football player stomping through the streets of the Big Apple, dodging skyscrapers like they’re mere speed bumps, much like a hungry Lawrence Taylor did on the defensive side of the ball.

On the other, we have the San Francisco Giants, one of the many California baseball teams (and one of the few sports teams that supports Halloween year-round thanks to their orange and black color scheme).

Ironically, the San Francisco Giants were once the New York Giants before their move to the west coast in 1958. It is even said the New York Football Giants were named after the baseball team that at a time, played in the same city.

In both cases, though, don’t expect their mascots to represent the “Giants” name—the football team doesn’t have one and the baseball team has a seal (Lou Seal).

Anyway, when I think about the Giants and their colossal name, I can’t help but visualize one of the greatest baseball posters one can possess (shown above)—which represents the 1989 Battle of the Bay.

The Cardinals

Sticking with the football and baseball combo, we celebrate red feathery fun with the Arizona Cardinals of the NFL and MLB’s St. Louis Cardinals.

What’s interesting about this pairing is the fact that again, both the football and baseball teams shared the Cardinals’ name while both played in St. Louis. In fact, this went on for years, until the football team moved to Arizona to become the Cardinals as we know them today.

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, proudly sports a pair of red birds on their logo, with Fredbird as their mascot, while the Arizona Cardinals opt for a more simple profile shot of one menacing bird as their logo (if that’s even a thing), and Big Red as their mascot.

The Jets

Moving on to hockey, but still sticking with football we have the Winnipeg Jets and the New York Jets, respectfully.

Now, we have already covered one New York football team, the Giants, but what if I told you the New York Jets were originally founded as the Titans of New York. Two pretty similar names, right? From there, though, this New York football team was renamed as the Jets thanks to their stadium’s proximity to LaGuardia airport. Also like the Giants, the Jets do not have an official mascot.

On the ice, believe it or not, the naming of the Winnipeg Jets ice hockey team was inspired by none other than the New York Jets football team because the team’s owner was a big fan at the time. Now, the Jets actually became the Phoenix Coyotes, but then the Atlanta Thrashers franchise was relocated to Winnipeg and became the Jets. Whew.

You can say both Jets teams may take to different skies, but they’re united in their need for speed on both the gridiron and the ice.

The Rangers

You guessed it—another New york team! This time, though, it’s a hockey team that shares its name with the Texas baseball franchise.

So, the Texas Rangers, a baseball team, were originally the Washington Senators, and didn’t become the Rangers as we know ehm today until the team moved to Arlington in the early 1970s and appropriately adopted Rangers name. In terms of mascots, “Captain” has been the traditional mainstay but the world was introduced to the mythical “Peagle” in April 2023.

On the flip side, we have the New York Rangers, an ice hockey team and believe it or not, have somewhat of an indirect connection to the Texas Rangers.

So, as it’s told, the 1925 New York Americans at the time played at the old Madison Square Garden which was owned by Tex Rickard (see what’s happening here). Richards became owner of the team which was dubbed “Tex’s Rangers.”

The Kings

Alright, buckle up as we introduce our first basketball and hockey pairing. I’m of course talking about the Sacramento Kings and the Los Angeles Kings, both bringing regal vibes to the world of sports.

The Sacramento Kings basketball team were known originally as the Rochester Royals of New York (we cannot escape NY!). They then moved to Cincinnati and then to Kansas City (were they were the Kansa City Kings and not the Kansas City Royals!). Slamson the Lion (king of the jungle) is the team’s mascot, and a crowned lion makes up the team’s logo. Fitting.

On the ice, we have the Los Angeles Kings hockey team, and frankly, I’m a little relieved to know that they were named after a simple naming contest and nothing more. The two teams do share a “crown” logo element and a Lion mascot (Bailey for the LA Kings), which is understandable, and were teams with the color purple at a time.

The Panthers

Closing with another football and hockey pairing, we go down south to look at both the Carolina Panthers of the NFL and the Florida Panthers of the NHL, two “newer” teams as far as expansions are concerned.

The Carolina Panthers football team became a franchise in 1993, and was named just like the LA Kings hockey team through a fan contest. Sir Purr is the team’s official mascot, and the Panther football logo features a big roaring cat.

On the ice, the Florida Panthers (who play in Sunrise) were also founded in 1993 (go figure) and was named after the endangered Florida panther of the Everglades. This Panther team’s mascot is Stanley C. Panther (I’m sure named after the Stanley Cup!) and the logo is also made up of a roaring big cat, but typically with more claws.

All in all, these are some of the more popular examples of teams with the same name but different cities and sports. And as mentioned, while each team brings its own logo, its own mascot, and its own unique flavor to the sports world, there are a lot of overlapping connections. It’s like a symphony of similarities and differences, a joyful mash-up of shared names and individual identities.

About Ryan from Sport Stuff Genius 58 Articles
A complete sports fanatic most of his life, Ryan has taken his interest and expert knowledge to Sport Stuff Genius—a blog dedicated to uncovering answers to different questions and bringing fun to all things ball.