It’s Opening Day for Major League Baseball, so we’re marking the occasion with a fun gallery of photos of the birds commemorated by North American professional sports teams. It would be a pretty brief gallery if we stuck to baseball, since only three MLB teams qualify for this list. So we’re also recognizing teams from the NFL, NBA, and NHL — 11 species in all that inspired the names of 12 teams. The photos are from our Reader Galleries.
Baltimore's NFL team had been the original Cleveland Browns until 1996, when it was moved to Maryland's largest city. A naming contest was held and eventually the name Ravens was chosen, in honor of the poem "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe. Poe died in Baltimore and is buried in the city's Westminster Hall and Burying Ground. Photo by Tony Joyce