The Los Angeles Angels and the mesmerizing location of Salt Lake City have held an affiliate for 25 combined years, but Tuesday will mark the first time Halos players will suit up in their Anaheim customs for an exhibition game at Smith's Ballpark. Fans in Salt Lake will have the pleasure of not only seeing future Bees, but also players of the past making their mark at the Major League level, including a Gold Glove Award winner and an American League Most Valuable Player.
The Angels will be sending 54 players to Smith's Ballpark, with seven being former players to dress up in the black and gold of a Bees uniform. Six of the 54 players are currently on the Halos 40-man roster, with the highlight pieces being C.J. Cron, Kole Calhoun, and of course, Mike Trout. Along with some of the Angels every day stars, will be potential future stars, Taylor Ward and Roberto Baldoquin. Bees' fans will also be excited to see players from last season, in the likes of Austin Adams, Jett Bandy, Gary Brown, Kaleb Cowart, Kyle Kubitza, and Alex Yarbrough.
The affiliation between the Angels and Salt Lake began in 1971, lasting a decade, where dozens upon dozens of Major Leaguers passed through, including Angels great, Frank Tanana. This followed with 20 years of the Angels splitting their primary affiliate between two Canadian-based affiliates in Vancouver and Edmonton, along with one year in Spokane, Washington.
In 2001, Angels baseball returned to Utah in the form of two affiliates. Salt Lake once again was the primary outlet for the Angels minor leaguers, as well as a new affiliate in Provo - 45 miles away from SLC - for Rookie Ball,
For four years, the Provo Angels held recently drafted players, and in 2005, Orem, Utah became host to the Angels Rookie Ball players. Orem, 40 miles south of Salt Lake, and it's 90,000+ inhabitants became part of the Angels organization, while Salt Lake retained the leading source for Halos players to grow in their final step to the Majors.
Smith's Ballpark plays host to not only Tuesday's affair, but also () home games for the Bees over the course of the season. The ballpark possesses some of the best views in Minor League Baseball, with snow covered mountains beyond the outfield fences. Such a wonderful site, that the stadium will be highlighted in the 2016 Great Parks Calendar.
The Salt Lake Bees - coming off being announced as the Triple-A Franchise of the Year - will now have a standing room only crowd Tuesday night with the event being sold out for a lengthy period of time. Limited ticket sales were released recently, with the price ranging from $10 for general admission, to $40 for diamond seats.
Mother Nature herself is hoping to make an appearance, but isn't necessarily welcomed by the other attendees for Tuesday. After a week of sunshine, Salt Lake City is expecting clouds with a chance of rain, and potentially snow, Tuesday morning. According to AccuWeather.com, local showers are to reach the ballpark overnight and into the morning, stopping at 3pm and beginning again at 11pm, a perfect scenario to play ball in the low 40's.
Fans will be given a refund if weather prevails and a complete rain out occurs. Fans have been given two options of receiving a refund for their tickets or a 2-for-1 deal, based on the cost of their ticket price.
Regardless of weather, Bees fans are expecting a spectacle of Major League players matching up against recent friends and midweek performers, along with future players who will don the black and gold.
This article was written and published by Scout.com Senior Publisher, Taylor Blake Ward, who can be found on Twitter, @TaylorBlakeWard