The history of baseball in Yakima stretches back to 1920 with the short-lived Yakima Indians in the Northwest League's original form as the Northwest International League. The Indians lasted only two seasons, closing in 1921 as the NIL became the Western International League.
Yakima re-entered the WIL in 1937 as the Yakima Pippins, reflecting Washington's apple-growing heritage, lasting until the 1941 season due to World War II. In 1946, as the WIL resumed play, Yakima again fielded a team, this time named the Stars. Renaming themselves the Packers for the 1948 season, the team finally settled on the Bears in 1949, lasting through the reformation of the WIL into the Northwest League, as the Bears became a charter member of the NWL in the 1955 season.
The Bears' time in the early years of the NWL were fruitful, as they won six NWL titles in nine years (1956, 1958-'60, 1963, and 1964). In 1966, when the league converted to short-season, the team renamed itself for the last time as the Yakima Braves due to an agreement with the Atlanta Braves, which they were affiliated with at the time, but the team was no longer in Yakima at the end of the 1966 season.
In 1990, Yakima again fielded a team in the Northwest League when the Dodgers moved from Salem after the 1989 season, bringing with them their affiliation with the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2001, the Bears changed their affiliation to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Yakima Bears -- Derek Michaelis' Path to Pros Goes Through Hoops -- Basketball scholarship got rookie into college, but he knew baseball was ultimate calling
Jun 18, 2000; Derek Michaelis strikes an imposing figure digging in at the plate. His 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame casts a large shadow that...
Yakima Bears -- Sydney Is Calling Van Buizen -- Yakima rookie will try to make Olympics for his native Australia
Jul 09, 2000; Forgive Rod Van Buizen if he doesn't want to finish out the season with the Yakima Bears. It's not that the utility infielder...