Mobile BayBears HistoryThe Mobile BayBears arrived in Mobile with the construction of the new Hank Aaron Stadium prior to the 1997 season. The stadium is named after baseball's all-time home run king and Mobile native 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 two year player development agreement with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
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 Arizona Diamondbacks.