The "Denver Bears" were baseball clubs in the Class-A Western League and Triple-A clubs that played in the American Association and Pacific Coast League between 1955 and 1983. The Bears played in Mile High Stadium, which was also the home of the NFL's Denver Broncos and one of the largest venues in the history of Minor League Baseball. The Bears drew crowds of over 45,000 for their 4th of July fireworks night. As an affiliate of the New York Yankees the team had early success, winning the American Association Championship in 1957. This success continued in the1970s through the mid-1980s, with the Bears bringing home titles in 1971, 1976, 1977, 1981, and 1983. Many Bears players reached the majors, including Andre Dawson, Graig Nettles, Terry Francona, and Bill Gullickson. Notable managers Ralph Houk, Billy Martin and Felipe Alou all came through Denver.
The Bears logos evolved over the team's existence. The original smiling bear gave way to a uniformed bear in a batting stance, and eventually the team switched to the popular dual bat wielding bear in connection with the roll-out of their popular lower case "d b" logo. All of the Denver Bears "baseball bears" have been popular with fans young and old even after the team changed its name to the "Zephyrs" for the 1984 season and eventually relocated to New Orleans to make room for the Colorado Rockies in 1993.