the ABA’s Memphis Tams (1972)
The Memphis Tams was the offbeat team name of the shortlived but colorful Memphis ABA affiliate. Tam appears to be short for “Tam O’Shanter”- the national cap of Scotland. But how did they get that most unlikely of all nicknames?
As you can see on the cover this 1972 press guide, TAM stood for Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississipi. This awkward name was the result of a name-the-team contest held by the team’s owner at the time, Charles Finley. The team changed its colors to the “kelly green, California gold and polar bear white” color scheme of Finley’s other teams- the Oakland A’s and the also soon-to-be-defunct California Seals. It also adopted a green, white and gold tam o’shanter hat as its logo.
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