Salt Lake Buzz
- Location: Salt Lake City, UT
- League: Pacific Coast League 1994-2000
- Affiliation: Minnesota Twins 1994-2000
- Ballpark: Franklin Covey Field
- Famous Alumni: Marty Cordova, Eddie Guardado, LaTroy Hawkins, Torii Hunter, Damian Miller, David Ortiz, A.J. Pierzynski, Todd Walker
The Salt Lake Buzz were an affiliate of the Minnesota Twins in the Pacific Coast League from 1994 to 2000. The club began play when the Portland Beavers moved to Franklin Covey Field in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Buzz had a winning record in each of their seven seasons and twice advanced to the PCL finals. After the 2000 season, the team became an Anaheim Angels affiliate and was renamed the Salt Lake Stingers due to a lawsuit by Georgia Tech over the use of the word "Buzz" .
PCL baseball returned to Salt Lake City for the first time in a decade, and the club was an immediate success at the gate, setting a league attendance mark with 713,224 fans. Under the leadership of skipper Scott Ullger, the Buzz went 74-70 and made the playoffs as a wild card. Bernardo Brito led the team with 29 home runs and 122 RBIs, while Eddie Guardado paced the pitching staff with 12 wins. However, in the first round of the playoffs, the Buzz fell to the Vancouver Canadians 3 games to 2.
Under new skipper Phil Roof, the Buzz improved their record 79-65 in 1995. Outfielder Riccardo Ingram posted a league-leading .348 batting average, and closer Scott Watkins recorded 20 saves. In the playoffs, they defeated Vancouver 3 games to 1 in the first round before falling to the Colorado Springs Sky Sox in 5 games in the PCL championship series.
The Buzz went 78-66 in 1996 to make the playoffs for the third straight year. Second baseman Brian Raabe hit a league-leading .351, and third baseman Todd Walker paced the circuit with 28 homers and 111 RBI. However, the team fell to the Edmonton Trappers 3 games to 1 in the first round of the playoffs.
Roof's club fell close to the .500 mark in 1997, going 72-71 and missing the playoffs for the first time in team history. Despite this, first baseman Chad Rupp provided offensive firepower, setting a team record with 32 home runs, while outfielder Ryan Radmanovich clubbed 28 round trippers.
The Buzz improved to 79-64 but fell just short of the playoffs for the second straight year. One of the highlights of the season was future Hall of Famer Paul Molitor appearing in a pair of games during an injury rehab assignment; over the course of those games, he delivered 5 base hits.
The Buzz posted a 73-68 record to win the PCL South Division title on the last day of the 1999 season. First baseman David Ortiz powered the offense with 30 home runs and 110 RBI, while pitcher Frank Rodriguez hurled the first no-hitter in club history on May 8th. In the first round of the playoffs, the Buzz fell to Vancouver 3 games to 2.
The Buzz put together their best season in 2000, winning 90 games and leading the PCL with a .312 average and 185 home runs. Outfielder John Barnes paced the circuit with a .365 average, and first baseman Mario Valdez, despite not having enough at-bats to qualify for the batting crown, hit .366 with 18 homers. In the first round of the playoffs, the team beat the Sacramento River Cats 3 games to 2, but they fell to the Memphis Redbirds in 4 games in the league championship series.
|Year||Record||Finish||Manager||Playoffs||Hitting Coach||Pitching Coach|
|1994||74-70||4th||Scott Ullger||Lost in 1st round||Dan Rohn||Gorman Heimueller|
|1995||79-65||3rd||Phil Roof||Lost League Finals||Rick Anderson|
|1996||78-66||2nd||Phil Roof||Lost in 1st round||Rick Anderson|
|1997||72-71||6th||Phil Roof||Rick Anderson|
|1998||79-64||4th (t)||Phil Roof||Rick Anderson|
|1999||73-68||6th||Phil Roof||Lost in 1st round||Rick Anderson|
|2000||90-53||1st||Phil Roof||Lost League Finals||Rick Anderson|