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Friday, October 28, 2005

Salt Lake Changes Franchise Name To Bees

Via FutureAngels, the Salt Lake Stingers have reverted to the Bees for the fifth time in that city's history. They were known as the Bees when they were the AAA affiliate of the Pirates back in 1915, but the last time the Bees name was used for a Salt Lake baseball team was 1969. The team acquired the name from the Nauvoo, Ill. Bees, and shares it with them.

The AAA franchise website is now slbees.com. Sidebar changes to be made presently...

Yet another example of why I take everything the media tells me with a grain of salt.

Somebody writes something patently absurd, with no research whatever, and readers take it at face value ("Well, if it appeared in print, it MUST be true.")

Apparently the author of the article on the team's website assumed that because the Bees are to wear yellow and black uniforms, they MUST have been a farm team of the Pirates, who also wear yellow and black. Well, except that...

For one thing, the Pirates went to their current color scheme in 1948. Before my time (well, just barely) and likely before most readers here, but in 1915 the Bucs still sported red, white, and blue uniforms.

More significantly, one has to be COMPLETELY ignorant of baseball history to write such a misinformed statement. It was not until Branch Rickey became GM of the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1920s that farm systems were invented. That's right, Virginia. There may indeed be a Santa Calus, but there were no farm systems, working arrangements, or anything of the sort in 1915. Each and every minor league team was completely independent.

Interestingly, it was not until 1963 when a later incarnation of the Salt Lake Bees (nee Hollywood Stars, having left LA in 1958 in the wake of The O'Malley) became a Cubs farm team. Click on the "History" link on the Bees website and you'll learn that. Obviously, not the same writer.

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