It’s time for the annual naming of the St. Paul Saints ball pig, as the team is holding a competition to choose the moniker of the four-legged swine delivering baseballs to the umpire at CHS Field.
The Triple-A East team is asking fans to submit an unlimited number of names online. One winning name will be chosen for the Saints ball pig in 2021 with the winning entry receiving a $50 Saints gift card, VIP Saints tickets, photos with the pig, a pig meet and greet, and a first pitch at a Saints game.
The Saints ball pig begins its season with the Saints on Opening Day, just a few weeks old and weighing only a few pounds, and finishes the season as a full-grown pig, weighing more than 200 pounds. The pig has a satchel draped over its back, loaded with baseballs and water, and waddles up to the home plate umpire anytime he needs fresh baseballs or hydration. The tradition of first-time umpires having to kiss the pig dates back to the early years of Midway Stadium.
he 2020 pig had the most unusual season of any of its predecessors, but perhaps the most fitting name. After a delay to the season due to COVID-19, fans sent in many creative names, but the one that stood out was This Little Piggy Stayed Home as the Saints began the season playing in Sioux Falls. Despite the name, the pig did make 21 appearances at CHS Field when the Saints were able to return to Minnesota in early August.
Many of the past names played on hot topics of the year, current events, or local celebrities. In 2019, the hype of the final season of Game of Thrones provided the organization with Daenerys Hoggaryen, a worthy name that helped the organization end a 15-year championship drought. In 2018 the Saints struck a chord with the younger generation as Porknite danced his way into fans’ hearts. The year before that they tested the political waters with Alternative Fats. In 2016 the Saints honored global icon, and Minnesota Native son, with Little Red Porkette (shown above). During the first season at CHS Field the Saints paid homage to Lowertown artists as they went with Pablo Pigasso. In 2014 the Saints received the Colboar bump with Stephen Colboar. The 2012 season saw two mascots for the first time: Kim Lardashian and Kris Hamphries. Past names have included Mackleboar (2014), Brat Favre (2010), Slumhog Millionaire (2009), Boarack Ohama (2008), Notorious P.I.G. – Piggy Smalls (2003) and Kevin Bacon (2001).
When the Saints moved to town in 1992 their sister team in Fort Myers was having great success with a live Golden Retriever mascot and the Saints wanted to capitalize on that accomplishment. Libby Veeck, the wife of Saints owner and President Mike Veeck, came across an interesting tidbit in a book she was reading and discovered St. Paul was known as “Pig’s Eye” after Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant. Thus, the pig mascot was born.
Since 1993 the Saints have received the pig from Dennis and Marilyn Hauth who handle, train, design costumes and house the pigs.