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 Triple-A affiliate of Major League Baseball's Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. They play their home games at Spring Mobile Ballpark, known to fans as the Apiary, 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 to 2000, the team changed its name to the Salt Lake Stingers in 2001. The change was forced by a trademark dilution lawsuit filed by Georgia Tech, whose yellowjacket mascot is named Buzz. 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, was the game's winning pitcher. 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 to 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 was then owned by the late Larry H. Miller, who owned the NBA's Utah Jazz.
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 (possibly in reference to the fact that the bee is a symbol in the Mormon church, which is headquartered in Utah). . 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.
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