Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum: Fanimals


There has long been an association between the animal kingdom and sports. Bulldogs and Tigers, Cardinals and Orioles—early football and baseball teams often looked to the natural world for inspiration. Team names and their identity might be drawn from regional connections (the oriole is the state bird of Maryland and thus the Baltimore Orioles) or uniform colors (Princeton became one of the first teams to be known as the Tigers for the orange and black striped socks worn by players in the 1880s). These associations provided a personality for the team based on generally understood attributes of an animal, linked a new enterprise to its location, or developed a bond of loyalty with fans.

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