Editor's note: Originally published Oct. 27, 1994.
The Tacoma Tigers announced in September they will become the Class AAA farm club for the Seattle Mariners, ending a 14-year affiliation with the Oakland A's.
And now the Tigers may become known as the Rainiers, a nickname that was used by the PCL's Seattle franchise in the days before major league baseball came to town. An official announcement on the name change is expected Tuesday.
We asked readers what they thought of the proposed change. Here's a sampling of comments:
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"Between the ugly green and gold Oakland A's colors and the Tigers nickname, there is nothing to evoke any regional association or pride. Mount Rainier truly looms over our city. Seattle has no exclusive claim to any of our natural wonders. The Tacoma baseball club can do its part to change the image of Tacoma from belching smokes stacks to that of a city with something special to offer on its own."
- Dave Stolier, Tacoma
"I am against the change of the Tacoma Tigers name. The Tigers is a historical name. It represents Tacoma's franchise going back to the early 1900s. Rainiers is a Seattle name, not a Tacoma name. It also is not the true name of the mountain. It's Tacoma.
- Bob Rooney, Tacoma
"I say leave the Tacoma Tigers alone. The alliteration is nice. It clicks off the tongue. It's fast just like sports. Tacoma Rainiers falls flat.
- Raina Proske, Tacoma
"I'd just as soon they kept the Tigers. The Rainiers brings memories of the Seattle Rainiers and Rainier brewery. It does not remind me of the mountain. If they were the Mount Rainiers it would be a different matter."
- Paul Cutler, Tacoma
"Tacoma has always had to try to gain its own independence from being associated with big brother to the North. Now to use the name Rainiers would only mean we've conceded. No matter how you slice it, it's still the Seattle Rainiers. I'd like to hook up with the Mariners, but give us a break. Just to have Rainier beer as the official beer at the stadium does not give them the right to change tradition. Besides, if John McGrath likes it, it's wrong for Tacoma."
- Dick Davidson, Puyallup
"A new team and a new name is very appropriate. Tacoma Rainiers sounds splendid to me. What would be more exciting to the players than to look over the right-field wall and see our wonderful Mount Rainier, giving them the strength and power they need to bring a championship home to the city of Tacoma? There is no prettier site than the mountain that unites our city and Seattle together. Let's play ball, Rainiers."
- Robert G. Tomasek, Tacoma
"I don't believe the Tacoma Tigers should be renamed the Tacoma Rainiers since they used to do battle in the old PCL. I do think it is more fitting to be renamed the Tacoma Mariners. They are now a part of the Mariner organization and as a consequence would give better regional recognition to that franchise and the area itself."
- Randy Chushcoff, Tacoma
"I think Tacoma Rainiers has a good ring to it. As an old Seattle Rainiers fan, I would encourage the change. While the Tigers (name) wasn't original, the Rainiers were."
- Hal Edvalds, Tacoma
"I think the Rainiers is a great name change. To bring back the local history would be great for the Tacoma team. They could even use the old Rainier ad beer bottle mascots and have a Rainier bottle running around the field. That would be great. But the name I think I'd really like best is the Cheney Studs, the old baseball team they used to have here locally."
- David Tison, Tacoma
"I think the Tigers should change the name. They've been the Tigers for a long time and they need a new identity. I think as far as a marketing standpoint, they would do better with a new logo, name change and colors. It would help draw fans to Cheney Stadium."
- Janelle Foster, Gig Harbor
"I think it's a great idea to change it to the Rainiers because baseball was fun back then."
- Loretta Green, Tacoma
"I believe that the Tacoma Tigers should become the Rainiers because I've never seen a Tiger in Tacoma and we always wake up with the majestic mountain out in our pastures. It would make the Northwest more emphasized."
- Dave Morgan, Tacoma
"I think the name Rainiers evokes a lot of nostalgia, but I think the affiliation with Rainier Brewing Company is wrong. I think it's just the wrong image to promote for baseball. The name might be all right, but the proposed logo looks like the front of the beer can."
- Donna Stark, Puyallup
"How about the Tacoma Tahomas? That way Seattle can keep its fake name with its fake mountain."
- Joya Farr, Tacoma
"As a season-ticket holder, I think it would be fitting to change the name to Rainiers because of the mountain in the background of Cheney Stadium. And also because that happens to be my favorite beer."
- Dave Juvick, Tacoma
"I've been a season-ticket holder for the past two years and I think it's terrific. The logo is great. I've sat in the park many nights and looked at Mount Rainier over the right-field fence."
- Carter Taylor, Port Orchard
"Here we go again. Change, change, change. Let's keep the Tigers the same. The Tigers have been around here for many years. These old timers have had a love for years. You can put a mountain on their uniform but they will still be the Tigers to us."
- Ken Roberts, Tacoma