History Of Salt Lake Bees, Minor League Baseball In Salt Lake City

Apr 9, 2020, 2:58 PM | Updated: 10:49 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Before the Salt Lake Bees were a Minor League Baseball team, a number of additional ball clubs called Salt Lake City home.

The Bees are a Triple-A Minor League Baseball team located in Utah’s capital city.

However, the Bees weren’t the state’s first Minor League ball club. In fact, SLC hosted multiple baseball teams prior to the Salt Lake Bees.

Minor League Baseball Teams In Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City Skyscrapers (1911-1914)

The Salt Lake City Skyscrapers were early ancestors of the Salt Lake Bees. The Skyscrapers played in class-D Union Association from 1911-1914 until the Association folded.

Salt Lake City Bees (1915-1928, 1939-1942, 1946-1965, 1969-1970)

In 1915, Salt Lake City’s next ball club arrived in the former of the Salt Lake City Bees. The Bees were previously the San Francisco Missions. Utah businessman Bill “Hardpan” Lane purchased the Bay Area baseball team and moved them to Utah and renamed the club. 1915–1925.

Lane moved the team to Los Angeles in 1926 where the team was known as the Hollywood Bees until they were renamed the Hollywood Stars.

Salt Lake still had a team in the Utah–Idaho League from 1926-1928.

The third version of the Bees was created in 1939 and played in the Pioneer League. Salt Lake won league titles in 1946 and 1953.

The Bees returned to the Pacific Coast League in 1958 and played there until 1965. The team won a league title in 1959.

Salt Lake City Giants (1967-1968)

In 1967, the Pioneer League team, the Salt Lake City Giants called Utah home. The team was renamed to “Bees” from 1969-70. The Bees were a “rookie-level” club that moved up to Triple-A status in 1969.

Salt Lake City Angels (1971-1974)

In 1971, the club was renamed the Salt Lake City Angels. The Minor League team was affiliated with the Major League club, the California Angels.

Salt Lake City Gulls (1975-1984)

The Angels were renamed the Salt Lake City Gulls in 1975. The Gulls won a league title in 1979. In 1982, Salt Lake City switched from an affiliate of the California Angels to one of the Seattle Mariners.

After the 1984 season, the team relocated to Calgary, Alberta, Canada and became the Calgary Cannons.

Salt Lake City Trappers (1985-1992)

Utah’s capital city became home to the Pioneer League’s Salt Lake City Trappers baseball team in 1985. The Trappers were previously known as the Calgary Expos before their move to Utah. The Trappers played at Derks Field in Salt Lake City. Derks Fields was located at the same site of present-day Smith’s Ballpark.

Salt Lake City won 29 consecutive games during the 1987 season to establish an all-time record for all of professional baseball.

The Trappers moved to Pocatello in 1993.

In 1994, the team moved back to Northern Utah and became the present-day Ogden Raptors.

Salt Lake Buzz (1994-2000)

In 1994, Joe Buzas moved his Minor League team, the Portland Beavers, to Salt Lake City. The team was renamed to the Salt Lake Buzz. Buzas made a deal with Salt Lake City and built a new ballpark on the same site as the Trappers’ home, Derks Fields. The new ballpark was named Franklin Quest Field. During the first season of Buzz baseball, the team hosted 713,224 fans.

Franklin Quest Field was renamed Franklin Covey Field in 1997.

In 2001, the team refreshed its nickname after a legal dispute with Georgia Tech.

Salt Lake Stingers (2001-2005)

The Buzz became the Salt Lake Stingers in 2001.

Team owner Joe Buzas passed away in 2003 and the organization was sold to Utah’s businessman and owner of the Utah Jazz, Larry H. Miller.

The team paid homage to its Salt Lake City roots and received a new nickname after the 2005 season.

Salt Lake Bees (2006-Present)

Following the 2005 season, the Stingers were renamed to the Salt Lake Bees in honor of the Utah-based ball clubs from the 1900s.

Franklin Covey Field’s 15-year agreement on naming rights expired in 2009 and was renamed to Spring Mobile Ballpark. The ballpark held that name until 2014. In March 2014, the ballpark was renamed Smith’s Ballpark.

The Bees are still owned by the Miller family.

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History Of Salt Lake Bees, Minor League Baseball In Salt Lake City