From 1863 to 1869, three private companies built 1,912 miles of continuous rail, creating the First Transcontinental Railroad across the United States. While the Central Pacific Railroad Company started in Sacramento and started working eastward (continuing track that the Western Pacific Railroad Company laid from San Francisco Bay to Sacramento), the Union Pacific started in Omaha, Nebraska, where the US’s eastern railroads ended, and started working westward.
On May 10, 1869, the tracks met at Promontory Summit, Utah, where Central Pacific Railroad president Leland Stanford drove the much-celebrated Last Spike, or Golden Spike, with a silver hammer.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Salt Lake Bees, who play about 90 miles south of Promontory Summit, will wear commemorative uniforms for a game May 20. Per the team’s website, “The Bees will be wearing specialty jerseys that take design cues from both the Union Pacific and Central Pacific trains of the era.”
This won’t be the first time the Transcontinental Railroad will make an appearance on a minor league baseball uniform. From 1999 to 2001, the then-Omaha Royals rebranded as the Golden Spikes, claiming the connection since construction on the west-bound track began in Nebraska. The loose connection to the railroad and the ill-fated impaled-baseball logo were widely reviled and short lived, and the team changed its name to Storm Chasers.
We have not seen the Bees’ commemorative uniforms yet, but we’ll share them as soon as we do.