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The Official Site of the Salt Lake Bees Salt Lake Bees


The year was 1915 and the Salt Lake Bees were born into the Pacific Coast League (PCL). The Sacramento Sacts were struggling at the gate in 1914 and on September 6, the team folded. The PCL took over the team and relocated them to San Francisco and renamed the club the Mission Wolves. Shortly after that lone season, the team was moved to the Beehive State and named the Salt Lake Bees.

In their first season under manager Cliff Blankenship, the Bees finished second with a 108-89 record. The team would operate through the 1925 season, a year that shortstop Tony Lazzeri hit a PCL record 60 home runs. The 60th came on October 9, the final day of the season, and it was an inside-the-park roundtripper.

In 1926, the team moved to Los Angeles and became known as the Hollywood Stars. With the team's departure for Southern California, Salt Lake City went 23 years before the PCL returned in 1958. Larry Shepard managed the team to a 77-77 record before leading them to Salt Lake's first PCL title in 1959, as the Bees finished the season with a one and one-half game lead over Vancouver. In 1961, the Bees were led by future San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs manager Herman Franks and in 1962 another future big league skipper Bob Kennedy would be at the helm.

Beginning in 1963, the Bees gained their first full affiliation with a major league club, as the team spent the next three years under the wings of the Chicago Cubs. The team would withdraw from the PCL after the 1965 season, but the Vancouver club would re-locate to Salt Lake City in 1970. The Bees, under an affiliation with the second-year San Diego Padres, would be led by yet another future big league manager in Don Zimmer. Despite his future success, Zimmer's club finished with a Salt Lake PCL worst record of 44-99, 52.5 games behind first place Hawaii in the Southern Division.

In 1971, the team changed its name and affiliation, as they became known as the Salt Lake Angels. In that first season with California, the Salt Lake Angels won the PCL title, the second in the city's history. Manager Del Rice led the team to the Southern Division crown and then took the title by sweeping Tacoma three games to none. The team was renamed the Gulls in 1975 and would provide more excitement by reaching the league finals in 1975 and 1976, but in each of those seasons, they would lose the title series to Hawaii. Finally, in 1979 under the tutelage of future major league manager Jimy Williams, the Gulls got by their nemesis and swept the Islanders 3-0 to win the third and last PCL championship in Salt Lake City.

In 1982, the Gulls became affiliated with the Seattle Mariners and while they won the first half Northern Division title that year and the second half crown in the division in 1984, the team struggled financially and after the '84 season, the team was sold and moved to Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Salt Lake City was without Pacific Coast League baseball until 1994, when owner Joe Buzas moved the Portland Beavers franchise to the Beehive State and named the team the Salt Lake Buzz. As the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, the Buzz would enjoy a winning record in each of their seven seasons with trips to the postseason in five of those years. Unfortunately, the Buzz would be heartbroken with a pair of walk-off hits that would end their trips to the PCL finals. In 1995, Salt Lake had a one-run lead with one out and nobody on base in the bottom of the ninth of the fifth and deciding game at Colorado Springs, but the team never recorded the third out, as Jim Tatum's bloop single to left off Dan Naulty gave the Sky Sox the championship.

In 2000, the Buzz were down two games to one, but rallied to tie Memphis with three runs in the top of the ninth inning. The game would, however, end in the Redbirds favor on a 13th inning solo homer by future National League Rookie of the Year, Albert Pujols.

In 2001, the team would change its name and affiliation once again. The team would be known as the Stingers and would reunite with the Angels. That led to another trip to the league finals in 2002, but they would be defeated three games to one by the Edmonton Trappers. The Stingers struggled through 2003 and 2004 and in 2005, Larry H. Miller purchased the Stingers. Under first year manager Dino Ebel, the team finished 79-65, just one game behind Tacoma in the Northern Division race. In October, the Stingers changed their name back to the original Salt Lake Bees.

Under manager Brian Harper in 2006 and 2007, the Bees enjoyed back-to-back PCL Pacific North Division titles, yet in both years the team lost in the Pacific Coast Conference Championship series.

Former World Champion Los Angeles Dodger Bobby Mitchell joined the Bees as manager in 2008. Beginning the season with a minor league best 21-1 start, Salt Lake once again captured the Pacific North Division title, but fell for the third consecutive time in the Pacific Conference Championship series.

The franchise owns a 22-30 playoff record and a 4-11 playoff series record.

Overall, Salt Lake teams have a 3840-3707 record in the Pacific Coast League. Only Portland (15,555) and Sacramento (10,421) have seen their city's PCL teams play more games than the 7,547 games that Salt Lake City's teams have played.