Mobile BayBears History
In 1998, the Mobile BayBears begin their time in the Southern league after the construction of Hank Aaron Stadium, named after Major League Baseball Hall of Famer, Hank Aaron.
The BayBears, were affiliated with the San Diego Padres from 1997 thru 2006, reaching the playoffs in each of their first two seasons and winning the Southern League Championship in 1998 and 2004.
In 2007 the BayBears signed a new development agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The BayBears won two Southern League Championships as the Dbacks affliate winning back-to-back titles in 2011 and 2012.
2017 is the first season of the BayBears affiliation with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Mobile Bears Early History
The Mobile Bears were a minor league baseball team based in Mobile, Alabama. The franchise was a member of the old Southern Association, a high-level circuit that folded after the 1961 season. Mobile joined the SA in 1908 as the Sea Gulls, but changed its name to the Bears in 1918, and the nickname stuck. The club played in the Association until July 1931, when it moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. Almost exactly 13 years later, in July 1944, the Bears returned to Mobile when the Knoxville Smokies franchise shifted back from Tennessee. The Bears played in 5,000-seat Hartwell Field located on Virginia St. in midtown. (A club known as the Mobile Shippers competed in the Class B Southeastern League from 1937-42.)
The Bears then continued in the SA (classified as a Double-A league in 1946) through its final season. During the 1940s and 1950s, the Bears were longtime farm system affiliates of the Brooklyn Dodgers, then the Cleveland Indians.
The nickname "Bears" lives on in modified form with the modern Mobile BayBears, of the Double-A Southern League, a farm team of the Los Angeles Angels.
Translation to the Big Leagues
The Mobile BayBears have seen over 150 players promoted to the Major Leagues, many still there today. Some of those names include; Mobile native Jake Peavy, Paul Goldschmidt, Carlos Gonzalez, Justin Upton, Patrick Corbin, AJ Pollock, Trevor Bauer and many more.