Monday, January 28, 2013
January 28- Salt Lake City Bees
Very few people know this about me, even though I openly talk about it often, but I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m short, I’m Mormon. Let that sink in as you think about the foul language I speak, the tattoos I have and the beer I drink. Yes, it’s a bit hypocritical of me in theory; however, I’ve always done my best to be a good person, love my family, help out anyone who needs it and I still love and respect God. I’m an incredibly open person and hope you are too as I continue as bits and pieces of this blog involves my religion and church.
The current incarnation of the Salt Lake City Bees was founded in 1994 after then owner Joe Buzas moved the Portland Beavers to Utah. For those keeping score at home, this is the second post I’ve written in which the Portland Beavers relocated their team. From ’94-2000 the team was known as the Salt Lake City Buzz, but were sued and forced to change their name by Georgia Tech as their mascot, a giant yellow jacket, has the same name. From 2001-2004 they were known as the Stingers. In 2003 Buzas bought the farm and Utah Jazz owner Larry H. Miller bought the team. In 2005 the team then changed their name again to the Bees, a throwback to the original baseball team that occupied Salt Lake City from 1915-1926. Now, when it comes to other sports franchises, most tend to not only change their name, but also their mascot. By this I mean, and especially when a law suit is on the table, most teams will distance themselves from any trace of the reason for the law suit. The Bees; however, is one of the most perfect mascots and team name for any fixed location in sports.
Back in 1849, when Brigham Young and the Mormon pioneers migrated to what is now Utah, they settled in a vast, agriculturally rich territory which they called the State of Deseret. This provisional state existed for only two years and was never recognized by the United States government. The most important part of this story is the word Deseret, which in the Book of Mormon is the word for honeybee. The state of Utah was founded in 1896 and adopted the beehive as their state logo, which is a fixture of the state flag. The state’s motto; industry, for which bees are known.
Back to the hat. This particular hat has been used since the start of the 2006 season. There’s really not that much to it. It’s black with a little bee dude swinging a bat. The logo isn’t even that big, but for some reason it’s perfect. It catches the eyes immediately and can go with almost any outfit combination. As for the marks…
#12- Howie Kendrick spent a fair amount of time in SLC, and did incredibly well every second he took the field. Specifically, I wanted to note his 2006 season. He only lasted 69 games in SLC, but spent 72 games in the Majors that season. His stats definitely helped push his case for a midseason call-up: .369/13/62 plus 11 stolen bases. Kendrick was easily on the fast track to getting up and staying up with the Angels. Unfortunately, Kendrick played a few more stints in SLC (2007-2009) for a total of 35 more games for rehab purposes. In all cases Kendrick averaged well over .400 combined.
#32- I remember Nick Adenhart’s start against the Oakland Athletics on April 8, 2009 as if it were yesterday. I was actually watching the game during class since it started at 3:13 PM PST. Adenhart was dealing like a veteran. He gave up seven hits and three walks, but struck out five and didn’t allow a single run in six innings. The Angels bullpen gave up six runs over the last two innings and the A‘s won 6-4. In mere hours following the game Adenhart and two of his friends were killed after a drunk driver ran a red light. It was strange. I was still awake when the news was announced and I couldn’t help but feel for his family and teammates.
I had only seen Adenhart pitch one game while he was with the Bees in a game against the Beavers in Portland. I honestly don’t remember how he did, but I certainly remember him taking the mound. Adenhart only played one season with the Bees in 2008, a season in which he also pitched three games for the Angels toward the end of the season. During his time in SLC Adenhart went 9-13 in 145.1 innings and had a 5.76 ERA. Based on the numbers, you’d think he was just a mediocre pitcher; however, if you saw him pitch in 2009, you’d have a different opinion. I couldn’t think of a better person to remember and share on this hat. I truly wish he could have had a long and fulfilling life.