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The long history of the Burlington Bees

Burlington, Iowa has had baseball since 1889

7/12/02- Cedar Raids, IA - As the Cedar Rapids Kernals play the Burlington Bees, seven-year-old Tanisha Roach gives her mother Janice Ocenosak a hug, left, as they relax in the hot tub located behind the outfield of Veteran’s Memorial Stadium in Cedar Ra

Baseball Prospectus has been highlighting the 42 reported minor league teams on the potential cut list heading into 2021, with Davy Andrews and Roger Cormier writing Monday about the Burlington Bees.

The Bees have been the Class-A affiliate of the Angels since 2013, a Midwest League team based in Iowa. Manager Jack Howell is a former Angel, and has coached most of the club’s top prospects in the last few seasons.

Jo Adell, the Angels current top prospect and a consensus top-10 prospect in MLB, hit .326/.398/.611 for Burlington as a 19-year-old in 2018.

Here’s Andrews and Cormier highlighting the history of baseball in the city:

Burlington, Iowa has had a team since 1889. At first they were called the Burlington Babies, and if that in itself isn’t a compelling reason to keep them around then I don’t know what is. It’s infuriating to see a team that’s been around for nearly five generations—a team that’s been around for more than half the time that America has been a country—get shut down, when its parent team is younger than my dad.

Just last week, the Bees offered curbside pickup orders for fans craving ballpark food.

Hall of Famers Billy Williams and Paul Molitor played for Burlington, as have current Angels players David Fletcher, Cam Bedrosian, Jaime Barria, Matt Thaiss, Jared Walsh, Anthony Bemboom, Michael Hermosillo, and Taylor Ward.

Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball are still in talks, with their professional working agreement expiring after the 2020 season, which for the minors during the coronavirus pandemic might not even happen.


  • Andrelton Simmons appeared on MLB’s Newlybros game show along with Didi Gregorius of the Phillies, his old Little League teammate in Curacao.
  • Hillerich & Bradsby Co., manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats, resumed production this week, putting 171 furloughed employees back on the payroll after receiving a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program, per the Associated Press.
  • Japanese baseball commissioner Atsushi Saito hopes to start the NPB at some point in June, though told reporters, per the Associated Press, “I don’t think anyone can make preparations by setting a specific opening day.”