The Mobile BayBears were a Minor League Baseball team based in Mobile, Alabama, United States. The team, which played in the Southern League, served as the Double-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres (1997–2006), Arizona Diamondbacks (2007–2016), and Los Angeles Angels (2017–2019). The BayBears played in Hank Aaron Stadium, which opened in 1997 and is named after baseball's former all-time home run king and Mobile native Hank Aaron.
|Minor league affiliations|
|Previous classes||Double-A (1997–2019)|
|Southern League (1997–2019)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Minor league titles|
|League titles (4)|
|Division titles (3)|
|Mobile BayBears (1997–2019)|
|Colors||Navy, light blue, ecru, white|
Bay B. Bear (1997-2019)
|Hank Aaron Stadium (1997–2019)|
The BayBears franchise originated in 1976 in Charlotte, North Carolina, first as the Charlotte Orioles and then as the first incarnation of the Charlotte Knights. When Charlotte moved up to become a Triple-A franchise in 1993, the team found a temporary home in Nashville, Tennessee, as the Nashville Xpress from 1993 to 1994. It existed as the Port City Roosters in Wilmington, North Carolina, from 1995 to 1996. The franchise landed in Mobile in 1997.
The team's name was announced in July 1996, having been selected in a name-the-team contest. Mobile mayor Mike Dow announced the name at that year's Mobile Fourth of July fireworks display. In September 1996, the BayBears signed an affiliation agreement with the San Diego Padres.
In November 2017, BayBears owners Michael Savit and HWS Group, closed on the sale of the team to BallCorps LLC. The team will continue to play in Mobile through the 2019 season, but will relocate to Madison, Alabama, in 2020, where they will play in a newly-built ballpark. Upon relocation, the team will be called the Rocket City Trash Pandas. The name is a reference to both the area's association with the space industry and the determination and ingenuity of raccoons.
BayBears Hall of FameEdit
Other notable alumniEdit
- Ary, Patrick (September 5, 2018). "Rocket City Trash Pandas chosen as new Madison baseball team's name". WHNT. Retrieved September 5, 2018.
- "Baseball Notes". Wilmington Star-News. 1996-07-06. p. 2C. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- "Baseball". Tuscaloosa News. 1996-07-05. p. 3C. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- "New Mobile team links with Padres". Wilmington Star-News. 1996-09-20. p. 2C. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
- Stephenson, Creg (November 9, 2017). "Mobile BayBears confirm sale, will play 2018 season at Hank Aaron Stadium". AL.com. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
- Reichard, Kevin (January 30, 2018). "New Madison Ballpark Approved; 2020 Opening Planned". Ballpark Digest. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
- "MiLB Approves Mobile BayBears Move to Madison". Ballpark Digest. May 30, 2018. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- Gattis, Paul (September 3, 2019). "BayBears bid farewell to Mobile to become Rocket City Trash Pandas". AL.com. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
- "Smokies vs. BayBears Box Score | 09/02/19". MiLB.com. September 2, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.