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Salt Lake Bees

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The Salt Lake Bees are a Pacific Coast League (PCL) minor league baseball team based in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Bees serve as the Class AAA affiliate of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They play their home games at Franklin Covey Field, which was opened in 1994 and seats 15,500 fans. The current franchise dates from 1994, when Joe Buzas, owner of the PCL Portland Beavers, moved the team to Salt Lake City.

Known as the Salt Lake Buzz from 1994-2001, the team changed its name to the Salt Lake Stingers in 2002, the change forced by a trademark dilution lawsuit filed by Georgia Tech, whose Yellow Jacket mascot is named Buzz.[1] Later that year, the Angels won the 2002 World Series and made history in game 7 when rookie pitcher John Lackey, called up from the Stingers earlier in the year, pitched and won the game. He became the first rookie to do so in nearly 100 years.

On October 27, 2005, the team announced the Stingers would henceforth be known as the Salt Lake Bees, the name of the original PCL franchise which played in Salt Lake City from 1915-1926. The official press release read, in part: "Owner, Larry H. Miller, announced today that the Salt Lake Stingers have officially changed the teams name to the Salt Lake Bees. The new logo, colors and uniforms were also unveiled. The change brings Salt Lake baseball back to its original franchise name and look when the state's first Pacific Coast League team was named the Bees in 1915."

The team was owned by former major league player Joe Buzas until his death in 2003. It is now owned by Larry H. Miller, who also owns the NBA Utah Jazz.

Team history[]

The Sacramento Solons, though a charter member of the PCL, suffered on the field and at the gate, being exiled at times to Tacoma, Fresno, and San Francisco. After the 1914 season, the forlorn team was sold to Salt Lake City businessman Bill "Hardpan" Lane, who brought PCL baseball to Utah in the form of the newly-renamed Salt Lake Bees. On March 31, 1915, the first PCL game was played in the state of Utah, as 10,000 fans poured into Bonneville Park to cheer the Bees to a 9-3 win over the Vernon Tigers. Though these original Bees never won a PCL pennant, the team drew reasonably well, especially considering the small market size. Other team owners, though, resented the cost of travel to Salt Lake City. When the Vernon Tigers abandoned Los Angeles after the 1925 season, it was suggested to Lane that he would do well to transfer his team to Southern California. And so, after eleven seasons, the Bees moved to Los Angeles for the 1926 season. At first known as the Hollywood Bees, the team soon became known as the Hollywood Stars. After ten seasons in Hollywood, the team transferred again, to San Diego, where it played as the San Diego Padres from 1936-1968. Salt Lake City was without a baseball team until 1946 when it received a franchise in the Pioneer League.

When the Brooklyn Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, the second version of the Hollywood Stars was forced to relocate and, in an ironic twist, were sold and moved "back" to Salt Lake City, becoming the second incarnation of the PCL Bees. In 1959, the Bees won their first-ever PCL pennant, edging the Vancouver Mounties by 1½ games. In 1963, the team began its first season ever as a "farm" team, becoming a full affiliate of the Chicago Cubs. This second version of the Bees played in the PCL from 1958-1965 before moving to Tacoma. As before, the void created by the loss of the PCL was filled by the Pioneer League from 1966-1969.

In 1970 the Pacific Coast League returned to Salt Lake City for the third time in the form of the Salt Lake City Padres, the AAA farm team for the San Diego Padres. The affiliation only lasted one season, and in 1971, the California Angels moved their triple A affiliate from Hawaii (where they had a short historic run of PCL dominance) to Salt Lake City and took their parents names the Angels. Although remaining the top affiliate for the Angels, in 1975 the Angels were renamed the Salt Lake Gulls. The Salt Lake Gulls became the AAA affiliate of the Seattle Mariners in 1982 before being purchased and moved to Calgary for the 1985 season. Though the team never achieved a first-place finish, it won PCL pennants in 1971 and 1979, winning the playoffs both years. From 1985 to 1992 Salt Lake City fielded a team in the Pioneer League once again, the Salt Lake City Trappers. In 1987, the Trappers won 29 consecutive games to establish an all-time pro baseball record.

In 1993 Salt Lake City and Portland Beavers owner Joe Buzas made a deal where the city would build a new ballpark on the site of historic Derks Field and Buzas would move his team to Salt Lake City in 1994. The new ballpark, Franklin Quest Field, opened in 1994 with the newly renamed Salt Lake Buzz breaking the all-time PCL attendance record. The Buzz became the Salt Lake Stingers in 2002 and, as noted above, have adopted the traditional moniker of Salt Lake Bees for 2006.

Current roster[]

Template:Salt Lake Bees roster


  1. Lange, Scott. "'Like Buzz, if I could be like Buzz...'", The Technique, 1998-04-24. Retrieved on 2007-05-18.

External links[]

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