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Founded in 1924
(First Season: 1889)
|Minor league affiliations|
|Previous classes||Class B, Class C, Class D|
|League||Midwest League (1962-present)|
|Major league affiliations|
|Team||Los Angeles Angels (2013-present)|
Oakland Athletics (2011-2012)
Kansas City Royals (2001-2010)
Chicago White Sox (1999-2000)
Cincinnati Reds (1932, 1997-1998)
San Francisco Giants (1995-1996)
Montreal Expos (1993-1994, 1986-1987)
Houston Astros (1991-1992)
Atlanta Braves (1988-1990)
Texas Rangers (1982-1985)
Milwaukee Brewers (1975-1981)
Kansas City Athletics / Oakland Athletics (1963-1974)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1960-1962)
Chicago Cubs (1955-1959)
Cleveland Indians (1947-1949)
|Minor league titles|
|Name||Burlington Bees (1924-1932, 1954-1981, 1993-present)|
Burlington Astros (1991-1992)
Burlington Braves (1988-1990)
Burlington Expos (1986-1987)
Burlington Rangers (1982-1985)
Burlington Flints (1952-1953)
Burlington Indians (1947-1949)
Burlington Pathfinders (1906-1916)
Burlington Flint Hills (1905)
Burlington River Rats (1904)
Burlington Hawkeyes (1890, 1898)
Burlington Colts (1895-1897)
Burlington Babies (1889)
|Ballpark||Community Field (1947-present)|
|Summer Street Park|
|City of Burlington, Iowa|
|General Manager||Kim Parker|
The Burlington Bees are a Class A minor league baseball team, based in Burlington, Iowa, that is an affiliate of the Los Angeles Angels. The franchise was founded in 1889. The Bees have played in the Midwest League since 1962. The team was first known as the "Bees" from 1924 to 1932 and again from 1954 to 1981. The Bees nickname was revived for the 1993 season and remains to this day. Their home since 1947 has been Community Field in Burlington, Iowa. Baseball Hall of Fame inductees Billy Williams, Paul Molitor and Larry Walker played for Burlington.
The team began playing in Burlington in 1889 as the Burlington Babies. Teams with various nicknames played until the Burlington Pathfinders were named in 1906, keeping the nickname until 1916 and playing in the Central Association. After a hiatus, the Burlington Bees played in the Mississippi Valley League from 1924 to 1932. The franchise then returned as the Burlington Indians in 1947, the same year that their current stadium, Community Field, opened. They won the league championship in 1949, their third and final year in the Central Association. The team joined the Three-I (Illinois, Iowa, Indiana) League in 1952 as the Burlington Flints but was renamed the Bees in 1954. In 1958, Billy Williams played 61 games with the Bees before joining the Cubs. Burlington joined the Midwest League in 1962 as a farm team of the Pittsburgh Pirates. From 1963 through 1974 they were a farm team of the Kansas City (later Oakland) A's; subsequent affiliations included the Brewers (1975-81), Rangers (1982-85), Expos (1986-87 and 1993-94), Braves (1988-90), Astros (1991-92), Giants (1995-96), Reds (1997-98), and White Sox (1999-2000).
The Bees have won the Midwest League Championship four times, in four different decades: 1965 (won both halves), 1977 (defeated Waterloo Indians), 1999 (defeated Wisconsin Timber Rattlers) and 2008 (defeated South Bend Silver Hawks).
Catcher Herbert Whitney of the Burlington Pathfinders was killed by a pitched ball in 1906. On June 26 in Waterloo, Iowa, Whitney was beaned by a pitch from Fred Evans of the Waterloo Microbes. He suffered a skull fracture and died that day as a result.
The team was first known as the Bees from 1924 to 1932 and again from 1954 to 1981. Starting in 1982, they used the nickname of their major league parent club, before the current Bees nickname was revived for the 1993 season.
In addition to Baseball Hall of Famers Billy Williams, Paul Molitor and Larry Walker, many former Burlington players have enjoyed major league success including: Sal Bando, Vida Blue (who struck out a team-record 231 batters in 1968), George Hendrick, Phil Garner, Chet Lemon, Claudell Washington, Rubén Sierra, Kenny Rogers, José Vidro, Ugueth Urbina, Javy López, Mark Buehrle, Mike Moustakas, and Salvador Pérez. Over 100 former Bees have played in the majors.
In 2007, the Bees changed their logo and uniforms. Since 2000, the Bees have had three affiliates: the Kansas City Royals (2001-10), Oakland Athletics (2011-12), and the Los Angeles Angels (2013-present).
The Bees have called historic Community Field, nicknamed "the hive", their home since 1947. The original grandstand portion of the stadium was destroyed in a 1971 fire and rebuilt. The stadium was upgraded again prior to the 2004 season, including a revamped concessions area, partial covering of the grandstand, improved sound system, and a new scoreboard. Named the 2013 "Field of the Year" in the state of Iowa by the Iowa Sports Turf Management Association, capital improvements are supported by The Friends of Community Field, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
Several Burlington pitchers have thrown no-hitters: