It's All in the Name
Much like the Steam Roller moniker was popular with other sports teams in Rhode Island early on, the Gold Bugs, Clamdiggers and Grays were a common nickname for the professional soccer, roller polo and baseball teams. The baseball Providence Grays baseball club were the most popular. They started off in the National League in 1878 before becoming a minor league outfit on and off in 1886 until the 1949 season (changing name back to Grays many times). They played in the National League until 1885 at the Messer Street Grounds in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence.
The team won the National League title in 1879 and 1884 and won the first World Series over the New York Metropolitans of the American Association in 1884. The Grays were 1900 and 1914 International League Champions. Babe Ruth played for the 1914 version of the Grays. The 1926 Providence Grays were Eastern League champions. Providence's last team was formed in the New England League in 1948 and 1949.
Around the same time as the baseball Grays began the Roller Polo craze came to Providence. Professional roller polo was very popular in Rhode Island in the 1880's through the early 1940's most notably at Infantry Hall in Providence. This example of the Grays name (established in 1881-82) won the 1898-99 National Roller Polo League, 1905 Eastern Roller Polo League and 1908-09 National Roller Polo League championships. The sport went through a couple of revivals in its history in Rhode Island as teams transferred and interest waned. After a long absence the Providence Grays famous nickname would return in the 1938-39 season in the American Roller Polo League led by iconic roller player "Jigger" Higgins through the early 1940's demise of the once popular spectator sport.
The Providence Gold Bugs (1917-18 to 1922-23) roller polo club would also share the Gold Bug nickname. They played at Infantry Hall in Providence. In 1919-20 they won the American Roller Polo League championship. The Providence Clamdiggers (1924-25 to 1927-28) of the American Soccer League were renamed the Providence Gold Bugs for the 1928-29 season. The club won the American Soccer Association Cup in 1929. In the fall of 1929 the team installed lights at Kinsley Park allowing for night games. After playing in the Atlantic Coast Soccer League in the 1929-30 season, the club was bought and became the Fall River F.C..
The Clamdiggers was also a name the Providence minor league baseball teams used in the Eastern League. They were 1894 Eastern Division Champions. Every baseball team from the 19th century through 1910 in Providence was called either the Providence Clamdiggers or Providence Grays (sometimes referred to interchangeably).