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Salt Lake Stingers unveils its new identity

Time to play ball: Goodbye Buzz, hello Stingers

Be prepared for a long answer if you get the chance to ask anybody from the Salt Lake Stingers: "What's new?"

Let's see, the former Salt Lake Buzz organization has a new major-league affiliation, a new nickname, a new coaching staff and, as of Thursday morning, a new color scheme and logo.

Now all the Stingers need are their new players, sporting their new uniforms, of course, while being cheered on by their new mascot, and they'll be ready for this new era of professional baseball to unfold in the capitol city of Utah (or New-tah, if you'd prefer).

There's also a new slogan — big surprise — for the upcoming 2001 Pacific Coast League season: "It's a whole new ballgame!"

Stingers co-owner Hilary Buzas-Drammis, the moving force behind all this newness, is optimistic this "new spirit of Utah baseball" will be a hit with fans and the community.

"Baseball has a long and glorious tradition in the state of Utah . . . We're excited to add to that legacy," she said at a logo-unveiling press conference Thursday morning at Franklin Covey Field.

"We hope Utah sports fans will embrace our new identity and look and continue to support our team as they have with such enthusiasm over the years."

The Stingers' new colors of red, blue and gold are a reflection of their major-league parent club, the Anaheim Angels.

The new nickname and logo — created by local public relations firm Love Comunications — have tie-ins with previous pro teams in years past that had Beehive State-ish themed monikers (namely the Bees and the Buzz).

"The graphic treatment is a combination of Utah baseball tradition coupled with a zip and flair that is very contemporary," Drammis said.

Along with unveiling the new logos and colors and the still-to-be-introduced on-field bee mascot, the Stingers revealed what their new home uniforms will look like. In their yard, they'll wear white and blue pinstriped jerseys with a crest logo and white pinstriped pants.

Fans will get their first chance to check out their new squad and buy the new Stingers merchandise on Friday, April 13, when the Stingers host Oklahoma in their home opener. The new mascot will make its debut the following night.

The 2001 PCL season starts on the road on April 5, a few days after the Stinger players finish up spring training in Arizona with the Angels.

Stingers fan John Rhodes of Ogden, for one, has already spent some time watching the new ballclub. Being among the 27 fans who suggested the selected nickname in the name-changing contest this winter, he won a drawing and the top prize of a trip to Phoenix with Anaheim.


E-mail: jody@desnews.com