Buffalo Bisons

The Buffalo Bisons are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Buffalo, New York. They play in the International League (IL) and are the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Bisons play at Sahlen Field in downtown Buffalo.

The Bisons have existed in some form since 1877, most of that time playing in professional baseball's second tier; exceptions have included the 1879–85 Bisons, who played in the major leagues as a member of the National League, and the 1979–84 Bisons, who played at the third-tier Double-A level. The Bisons did not play from June 1970 through the 1978 season.

The 1927 Bisons were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time.[3] In 2016, Forbes listed the Bisons as the 15th-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $34 million.[4]

Buffalo Bisons
Founded in 1979
Buffalo, New York
BuffaloBisons13BuffaloBisons13cap
Team logoCap insignia
Class-level
CurrentTriple-A (1985–present)
PreviousDouble-A (1979–1984)
Minor league affiliations
LeagueInternational League (1912–1970, 1998–present)
DivisionNorth Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
CurrentToronto Blue Jays (2013–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles (7)
  • 1933
  • 1936
  • 1957
  • 1961
  • 1997
  • 1998
  • 2004
Division titles (4)
  • 1998
  • 2001
  • 2004
  • 2005
Team data
NicknameBuffalo Bisons (1877–1970, 1979–present)
ColorsScarlet red, reflex blue, white[1]
              
BallparkSahlen Field (2019–present)
  • Coca-Cola Field (2009–2018)
  • Dunn Tire Park (1998–2008)
  • North AmeriCare Park (1995–1998)
  • Pilot Field (1988–1994)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Bob Rich Jr.
ManagerBobby Meacham[2]
General ManagerMichael Buczkowski
MediaWNLO-TV
WWKB
Bisons Radio Network
CJCL (select games only)

History

Previous Buffalo Bisons teams

Dummy Taylor, pitcher, Buffalo Bisons, ca. 1910
T206 Baseball Card for Buffalo Bisons Pitcher Dummy Taylor, ca. 1909-11

Organized baseball in Buffalo had been around since at least 1859, when the Niagara baseball club of the National Association of Base Ball Players played its first season. The first professional team to play in Buffalo began in 1877; it was this team that was invited to become a major league club, the Buffalo Bisons of the National League, who played from 1879 to 1885. In 1886, the Bisons moved into minor league baseball as members of the original International League, then known as the Eastern League. (An "outlaw" team also known as the Buffalo Bisons also played in the Players' League, an upstart third major league, in 1890, but that team is not considered part of the Bisons history.) This team joined the Western League in 1899, and was within weeks of becoming a major league team when the Western League announced it was changing its name to the American League in 1900. However, by the start of the 1901 season, Buffalo had been bumped from the league in favor of the Boston Americans; the Bisons returned to the minors and the Eastern League that year.

This franchise continued in the Eastern/International League through June 1970, when it transferred to Winnipeg, Manitoba as the Winnipeg Whips, due to poor attendance, stadium woes, the Montreal Expos (then Canada's only MLB team) affiliating with the franchise, and an increasingly saturated Buffalo sports market that saw the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL and Buffalo Braves of the NBA established the same year. (The team had narrowly avoided relocation in 1956, but an intervention led by local broadcaster Stan Barron prevented the team from leaving;[5] it nonetheless was forced to move into a football venue, Buffalo War Memorial Stadium, a few years later, after its existing ballpark closed.) In 1969, Héctor López became the first black manager at the Triple-A level while managing Buffalo Bisons—six years before Frank Robinson became the first black manager in Major League Baseball.[6] After stops in Winnipeg and Hampton, Virginia, the team was suspended after the 1973 season to make way for the Memphis Blues, who were moving up from Double-A.

In 1979, by which point the Braves had left town, the Double-A Eastern League's Jersey City A's were forced to leave their city due to the decrepitude of that city's Roosevelt Stadium and opted to move to Waterbury, Connecticut, a city that already had an Eastern League team. Again with Barron leading the effort, the league awarded the extra franchise to Buffalo, and the Bisons (taking on the previous team's name and history) returned to the field.

After six seasons in the Eastern League, the Bisons rejoined the Triple-A ranks in 1985, joining the American Association when the Wichita Aeros' franchise rights were transferred to Buffalo. When, as part of a reorganization of Triple-A baseball, the American Association folded after the 1997 season, Buffalo joined the International League.

Since their return to Triple-A baseball in 1985, the Bisons have qualified for the playoffs several times. In 2004, although the Bisons were 10 games behind the first-place team in June, the Bisons won their division. Buffalo won its first-round playoff, against the Durham Bulls, and advanced to the Governors' Cup Finals, in which they had home field advantage over the Richmond Braves. The remnants of Hurricane Ivan caused major flooding problems in Richmond and the entire series was played in Buffalo. The Bisons defeated the Braves in four games and won the Governors' Cup for the second time since 1998. In 2005, Buffalo won the North Division and played the Indianapolis Indians in the first round, winning the first two games in Indianapolis, but losing all three remaining games. With many of its players shuffled to the Cleveland Indians throughout the final months of the season, the Bisons failed to qualify for the playoffs in 2006. In 2007, Buffalo again failed to clinch a playoff spot, marking the first time since Buffalo was parented with the Pittsburgh Pirates that the Bisons missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. The team has not reached the playoffs since then.

Mets era

After the 2008 season, Buffalo parted ways with Cleveland, as the Indians signed an affiliation agreement with the Columbus Clippers beginning in 2009. The Bisons then signed a two-year agreement to be the top home for New York Mets prospects.[7]

On December 16, 2008, the Mets officially announced that Ken Oberkfell would be the Bisons new manager for 2009. At the same press conference, the Bisons also unveiled their new logo. The logo paid homage to baseball's history in the city of Buffalo with the city's skyline in the background. The logo, along with the new colors of blue and orange, closely resemble that of the team's new parent club, the Mets.[8]

In the 2009–2010 off-season, the Bisons were chosen to host the 2012 Triple-A All-Star Game to celebrate 25 years at Coca-Cola Field. The game was played on Wednesday, July 11, 2012.

In late July 2010, the Bisons and Mets agreed on a two-year extension that carried their agreement through the 2012 season.[9]

The 2010–2011 off-season saw changes to the Bisons coaching staff. Ken Oberkfell was replaced by Tim Teufel, who was a member of the 1986 Mets team. Teufel was introduced on Friday January 21, 2011, as the 16th manager in the Bisons' modern era.[10]

The 2011–2012 off-season once again saw coaching changes. Tim Teufel was replaced by Wally Backman.[11] He was introduced on November 17, 2011.

Blue Jays era

The Bisons' agreement with the Mets ended after the 2012 season due to Bisons' management being dissatisfied with their drop in attendance and poor performance during the Mets era. The Bisons enjoyed only one winning season out of the four years that they were affiliated with the Mets.[12] Consequently, the Bisons signed a player development contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on September 18, 2012.[13][14] The Blue Jays are geographically the closest MLB team to Buffalo and such a partnership would build on other international fan base efforts in the region, such as the now-defunct Bills Toronto Series in football.

As part of the rebuilding efforts, the Bisons announced a new uniform (a throwback uniform using a modernized variant of their 1980s logo and colors) and the return of former Bisons manager Marty Brown in November 2012.

On April 18, 2013 the Bisons scored 27 runs on 29 hits against the Syracuse Chiefs, setting records for the most runs and hits in an International League game since 1973.[15][16]

In 2016, the Bisons and Blue Jays agreed to again extend their player development contract, extending their relationship through the 2018 season.[17] On May 4, 2018, the Bisons and Blue Jays agreed to another two-year extension of their player development contract, extending their partnership through the 2020 season.[18]

Year-by-year records

Year Aff. League Div. Finish W L W% Manager Playoffs
1979 Pirates Eastern League 4th 72 67 .518 Steve Demeter League didn't hold playoffs
1980 Pirates Eastern League North 1st (first half)
3rd (second half)

5th (overall)
67 70 .489 Steve Demeter Lost in Semi-Finals, 0–2 (Millers)
1981 Pirates Eastern League North 4th (first half)
2nd (second half)

7th (overall)
56 81 .409 Johnny Lipon Did not qualify
1982 Pirates Eastern League North 4th (first half)
4th (second half)

8th (overall)
55 84 .396 Tommy Sandt Did not qualify
1983 Indians Eastern League 3rd 74 65 .532 Al Gallagher Lost in Semi-Finals, 0–2 (Sailors)
1984 Indians Eastern League 5th 72 67 .518 Jack Aker Did not qualify
1985 White Sox American Association East 3rd 66 76 .465 John Boles Did not qualify
1986 White Sox American Association East 2nd 71 71 .500 Jim Marshall Did not qualify
1987 Indians American Association 5th 66 74 .471 Orlando Gómez
Steve Swisher
Did not qualify
1988 Pirates American Association East 3rd 72 70 .507 Rocky Bridges Did not qualify
1989 Pirates American Association East 2nd 80 62 .563 Terry Collins Did not qualify
1990 Pirates American Association East 2nd 85 62 .578 Terry Collins Lost one-game playoff, 3–4 (Sounds)
1991 Pirates American Association East 1st 81 62 .566 Terry Collins Lost in Championship, 2–3 (Zephyrs)
1992 Pirates American Association East 1st 87 57 .604 Marc Bombard Lost in Championship, 0–4 (89ers)
1993 Pirates American Association East 2nd 71 73 .493 Doc Edwards Did not qualify
1994 Pirates American Association 8th 55 89 .382 Doc Edwards Did not qualify
1995 Indians American Association 2nd 86 62 .569 Brian Graham Won Semi-Finals, 3–1 (Royals)
Lost in Championship, 2–3 (Redbirds)
1996 Indians American Association East 1st 84 60 .583 Brian Graham Lost in Semi-Finals, 2–3 (Indians)
1997 Indians American Association East 1st 87 57 .604 Brian Graham Won Semi-Finals, 3–2 (Indians)
Won Championship, 3–0 (Cubs)
1998 Indians International League North 1st 81 62 .566 Jeff Datz Won Semi-Finals, 3–0 (SkyChiefs)
Won Championship, 3–2 (Bulls)
Lost World Series, 1–3 (Zephyrs)
1999 Indians International League North 4th 72 72 .500 Jeff Datz Did not qualify
2000 Indians International League North 1st 86 59 .593 Joel Skinner Won one-game playoff, 7–1 (Red Barons)
Lost in Semi-Finals, 1–3 (Red Barons)
2001 Indians International League North 1st 91 51 .641 Eric Wedge Lost in Semi-Finals, 2–3 (Red Barons)
2002 Indians International League North 2nd 84 54 .609 Eric Wedge Won Semi-Finals, 3–0 (Red Barons)
Lost in Championship, 0–3 (Bulls)
2003 Indians International League North 3rd 73 70 .510 Marty Brown Did not qualify
2004 Indians International League North 1st 83 61 .576 Marty Brown Won Semi-Finals, 3–2 (Bulls)
Won Championship, 3–1 (Braves)
2005 Indians International League North 1st 82 62 .569 Marty Brown Lost in Semi-Finals, 2–3 (Indians)
2006 Indians International League North 3rd 73 68 .518 Torey Lovullo Did not qualify
2007 Indians International League North 3rd 75 67 .569 Torey Lovullo Did not qualify
2008 Indians International League North 5th 66 77 .462 Torey Lovullo Did not qualify
2009 Mets International League North 6th 56 87 .392 Ken Oberkfell Did not qualify
2010 Mets International League North 3rd 76 68 .528 Ken Oberkfell Did not qualify
2011 Mets International League North 5th 61 82 .427 Tim Teufel Did not qualify
2012 Mets International League North 6th 67 76 .469 Wally Backman Did not qualify
2013 Blue Jays International League North 3rd 74 70 .514 Marty Brown Did not qualify
2014 Blue Jays International League North 3rd 77 66 .538 Gary Allenson Did not qualify
2015 Blue Jays International League North 3rd 68 76 .472 Gary Allenson Did not qualify
2016 Blue Jays International League North 5th 66 78 .458 Gary Allenson Did not qualify
2017 Blue Jays International League North 5th 65 76 .461 Bobby Meacham Did not qualify
2018 Blue Jays International League North 6th 61 77 .442 Bobby Meacham Did not qualify

Titles

The Bisons have won the Governors' Cup, the championship of the IL, 6 times, including the inaugural Cup, and played in the championship series 10 times.

Since 1998, the Bisons have won the IL North Division four times (1998, 2001, 2004, and 2005). They have also won the Thruway Cup, a regular-season competition between Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, eight times since its inception in 1998.

Roster

Buffalo Bisons roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches

Injury icon 2.svg 7-day injured list
* On Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster
# Rehab assignment
∞ Reserve list
‡ Restricted list
§ Suspended list
† Temporary inactive list
Roster updated July 15, 2019
Transactions
→ More rosters: MiLB • International League
Toronto Blue Jays minor league players

Alumni

Retired numbers

Notable former Bisons

Players named to the Bisons' "All 25 Seasons Team" are indicated by a double dagger (double-dagger)

Buffalo Bisons in the National Baseball Hall of Fame

Player/Manager[20] Year Inducted Years with the Bisons
Connie Mack 1937 1890 (played for the outlaw PL Bisons)
Charles Radbourn 1939 1880
Jimmy Collins 1945 1893–1894
Jim O'Rourke 1945 1881–1884
Dan Brouthers 1945 1881–1885
Joe Tinker 1946 1930 (Coach)
Herb Pennock 1948 1916
Bill Dickey 1954 1928
Gabby Hartnett 1955 1946 (Manager)
Ray Schalk 1955 1932–1937, 1950 (Manager)
Joe McCarthy 1957 1914–1915
John Montgomery Ward 1964 1877
Pud Galvin 1965 1878–1885, 1894
Lou Boudreau 1970 1939
Bucky Harris 1975 1918–1919, 1944–1945 (Manager)
Johnny Bench 1989 1966–1967
Ferguson Jenkins 1991 1962
Jim Bunning 1996 1953, 1955
Frank Grant 2006 1886–1888
Deacon White 2013 1881–1885, 1890
Jim Thome 2018 1998

Mascots

The main mascots of the team have traditionally been Buster T. Bison along with his cousin Chip, but as of 2006, a new mascot named Belle the Ballpark Diva has appeared, along with flamboyant reporter Johnny Styles. Buster and Belle pursued a love interest, and were married following a game on August 26, 2007, against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

Buster and Chip wear Bisons jerseys and caps. Buster's number was the last two numbers of the season up to 2009, however, as of the 2010 season his number is 83, signifying the year Buster first appeared as the team's mascot. Chip's number has always been ​12. The Bisons have had a number of other mascots in the past. MicroChip, who was smaller and presumably "younger" than Buster and Chip, wore a Bisons jersey as well. His number was ​14. Loudmouth, a mime played by actress Tracey B. Wilson, was another mascot for the team. The other official mascot of the Bisons was Howie the Ump. He wore a costume much like Buster and Chip, but it was a costume of a human umpire, with an umpire's uniform and mask. He was very short-lived, existing only during the 1995–1997 seasons, and was played by local improvisational comedian Randy Reese.

The Bisons also run their own version of the mascot races at each home game, with costume characters representing a plain chicken wing, an extra-spicy "atomic" wing, a tub of blue cheese and a stalk of celery. The celery mascot, a crowd favorite, lost his first 449 races and was often the victim of foul play from the other contestants; more often, when it would squander whatever lead it had secured by stopping and becoming distracted. In a spoof of major baseball stars' "farewell tours" in the 2010s (such as those by David Ortiz and Derek Jeter), Celery announced his retirement in 2016, a full year ahead of his last game at the end of the 2017 season.[21][22] In Celery's final race, which was preceded with a mass media circus in the Buffalo area in the week leading up to the race, Celery broke out to an early lead, again became distracted, but regained his focus to pass his opponents before the finish line, winning his only race and finishing with a 1–449 record. In 2018, Celery was replaced with a carrot and a beef on weck sandwich.[23]

The beer and snack vendors that have worked the Bisons' ballparks often earned reputations as entertainers themselves. These include Conehead (Tom Girot), a beer vendor who wears a rubber cone-head hat and has been selling beer at various Buffalo sporting events since 1971,[24] and The Earl of Bud (entertainer Earl Howze, Jr., currently of Chattanooga, Tennessee), another beer vendor, who would climb on the dugout and dance at some point during the game.[25] The Earl of Bud made an appearance at the 20th Anniversary game for Dunn Tire Park in August 2007. He also made appearances at the ballpark in July and August 2012.

Media/game broadcasts

The Bisons Baseball Network broadcasts all Buffalo Bisons games. The flagship station is WWKB, a clear-channel station in Buffalo. Select games are broadcast on CJCL, the flagship station of the Toronto Blue Jays. Pat Malacaro serves as the team's play-by-play announcer, having taken over the position full-time in 2018[26] after serving as a fill-in in the years prior; he is teamed with color commentator Duke McGuire, who has been with the Bisons since 1979.[27] Until the 2016 season, a network of Western New York stations including WSPQ in Springville, WGGO in Salamanca and WOEN in Olean carried Bisons games, all of which have since ceased independent operations.

Jim Rosenhaus, a Bisons broadcaster for 11 years, is now a Cleveland Indians broadcaster. His predecessor Pete Weber, who was the Bisons play-by-play broadcaster for 13 years, currently serves in that role for the Nashville Predators. Stan Barron spent many years as the Bisons' broadcaster and was a major factor in preventing a proposed relocation in 1956 and returning the team to Buffalo in 1979.

Ben Wagner served as play-by-play announcer from 2007 to 2017. On March 27, 2018, Wagner was hired by the Blue Jays to replace Jerry Howarth as their radio play-by-play announcer.[28][29]

The Bisons broadcast select television games on WNLO, mostly games on Saturday nights.[30]

References

  1. ^ "Buffalo Bisons unveil new team logo". MiLB.com. MLB Advanced Media, LP. November 20, 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2018.
  2. ^ "Bobby Meacham to manage Blue Jays' triple-A Buffalo affiliate in 2017 - Sportsnet.ca".
  3. ^ "Top 100 Teams". MiLB.com. 2001. Retrieved May 9, 2017.
  4. ^ Klebnikov, Sergei (July 8, 2016). "Minor League Baseball's Most Valuable Teams – 15. Buffalo Bisons". Forbes. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  5. ^ "Stan Barron – Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame". buffalosportshallfame.com.
  6. ^ Vecsey, George (March 28, 1990). "SPORTS OF THE TIMES; A Yankee Comes Back To Baseball". The New York Times. Retrieved February 20, 2008.
  7. ^ "Buffalo Bisons and New York Mets sign player development contract" New York Mets. September 22, 2008. Retrieved on September 28, 2008.
  8. ^ "Bisons Unveil New Primary Logo" Buffalo Bisons. December 16, 2008. Retrieved on December 17, 2008.
  9. ^ [1] Archived July 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Teufel Named Bisons Manager". January 21, 2011. Retrieved September 4, 2016.
  11. ^ "Klapisch: Backman shows loyalty to Mets". NorthJersey.com. November 6, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  12. ^ "Bisons, Jays officially open talks on affiliation – Sports". The Buffalo News. September 16, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  13. ^ Buffalo Bisons (September 18, 2012). "Bisons and Blue Jays sign two-year player development contract | Buffalo Bisons News". Milb.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  14. ^ 09/18/2012 1:05 PM EST (September 18, 2012). "Toronto Blue Jays and Buffalo Bisons sign player development contract | bluejays.com: News". Toronto.bluejays.mlb.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013.
  15. ^ Bisbing, Brad (April 18, 2013). "RECORDS fall in 27–9 Bisons win – Unforgettable team performance as Buffalo earns sweep". Buffalo Bisons. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  16. ^ Parker, John (April 18, 2013). "Negrych cycles in Bisons' record rout". MLB.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  17. ^ "Bisons, Blue Jays extend affiliation agreement through the 2018 season". bisons.com. April 12, 2016. Retrieved September 23, 2016.
  18. ^ "Bisons, Blue Jays announce extension of their partnership through 2020". MiLB.com. May 4, 2018. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Bisons 'All 25 Seasons' Team". milb.com. February 26, 2012. Retrieved March 30, 2014.
  20. ^ "Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame." Buffalo Bisons. Retrieved on August 19, 2018.
  21. ^ Gelber, Bradley (September 1, 2016). "Bisons 'Celery' to retire after 2017 season". WGRZ-TV. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  22. ^ Moritz, Amy (August 18, 2017). "Buffalo Bisons mascot Celery reflects on upcoming retirement from popular racing circuit". The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 29, 2017.
  23. ^ "Carrot, Beef on Weck replace Celery in Bisons' WCC Race".
  24. ^ "Famed vendor 'Conehead' gets his own beer at Buffalo Bisons games". 21 June 2018.
  25. ^ http://www.buffalonews.com/life/304059859/a_hot_time_on_opening_day__raise_the_suds_its__the_earl_of_bud.html
  26. ^ Ingersoll, Ali (12 April 2018). "Meet Pat Malacaro: The new voice of the Buffalo Bisons".
  27. ^ "Bisons Broadcasting Information".
  28. ^ "Ben Wagner & Dan Shulman join Sportsnet's Blue Jays radio broadcast team". Sportsnet. March 27, 2018. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  29. ^ Harrington, Mike (March 27, 2018). "Bisons radio announcer Ben Wagner promoted to Blue Jays' booth; Pat Malacaro named replacement". buffalonews.com. Retrieved March 27, 2018.
  30. ^ "Bisons and Nexstar Broadcasting partner to air 10-game schedule on The CW-23". WNLO. April 22, 2019. Retrieved April 22, 2019.

External links

1924 Buffalo Bisons (NFL) season

The 1924 Buffalo Bisons season was their fifth in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous output of 5–4–3, losing five games. They finished ninth in the league.

1925 Buffalo Bisons (NFL) season

The 1925 Buffalo Bisons season was their sixth in the league. The team failed to improve on their previous record against league opponents of 6–5, winning one game. They finished fifteenth in the league.This was the first season since 1917 that star player Tommy Hughitt did not take the field for Buffalo; he had retired at the end of the previous season.

Billy Hitchcock

William Clyde Hitchcock (July 31, 1916 – April 9, 2006) was an American professional baseball infielder, coach, manager, and scout in Major League Baseball (MLB). In Minor League Baseball, he served as president of the Double-A Southern League in 1971–80. His older brother, Jimmy Hitchcock, played briefly for the 1938 Boston Braves.

Buffalo (NFL)

Buffalo, New York had a turbulent, early-era National Football League team that operated under multiple names and several different owners between the 1910s and 1920s. The early NFL-era franchise was variously called the Buffalo All-Stars from 1915 to 1917, Buffalo Niagaras in 1918, the Buffalo Prospects in 1919, Buffalo All-Americans from 1920 to 1923, Buffalo Bisons from 1924 to 1925 and in 1927 and 1929, and the Buffalo Rangers in 1926. The franchise, which was experiencing financial problems in 1928, did not participate in league play that season.

Buffalo Bills (AAFC)

The Buffalo Bills were an American football team, based in Buffalo, New York, that played in the All-America Football Conference from 1946 to 1949. During its first season in 1946, the team was known as the Buffalo Bisons. Unlike the Cleveland Browns, San Francisco 49ers, and Baltimore Colts, the franchise was not one of the three AAFC teams that merged with the National Football League prior to the 1950 season.

After only one year, owner James Breuil held a name-the-team contest in hopes of choosing a more distinctive nickname; "Bisons" had been the traditional nickname for Buffalo teams for many years. The winning choice was "Bills," which was a play on the name of the famed Wild West showman Buffalo Bill Cody. Coincidentally a barbershop quartet who would achieve fame a few years later was formed with the same name that year. The team was the successor to the Buffalo Tigers/Indians team from the 1940 American Football League; that league had folded as a result of World War II.

There was some controversy over Buffalo's exclusion from the enlarged NFL. Buffalo had experienced more success on the field and at the gate than Baltimore, and was also a larger market at the time (and would not have to share their territory with an established team as Baltimore would with the Washington Redskins). Additionally, the original three-team plan would have left the league with 13 teams, not only an odd number and prime number that made making equal divisions impossible, but also one considered to be bad luck. The move had left Buffalo as the only AAFC market without an NFL team post-merger, and one that had outdrawn the NFL average in fan attendance. With that in mind, Buffalo fans produced more than 15,000 season ticket pledges, raised $175,000 in a stock offering, and filed a separate application to join. When the vote to admit Buffalo was held on January 20, 1950, a majority of league owners (including the three already-admitted AAFC teams) were willing to accept Buffalo. However, league rules required a unanimous vote, but the vote was only 9-4 in favor. The opposition to the Bills' entry was led by Chicago Bears owner George Halas (who had a longstanding animosity toward Buffalo's previous NFL franchise) and Los Angeles Rams owner Dan Reeves. League commissioner Bert Bell had already put out a schedule based on the 13 teams, and Reeves cited as his excuse for voting against admission was simply that "it was silly to vote in a new city without first having a good idea where my teams would be playing and when."Breuil, having lost $700,000 on the team, was instead content to accept a one-fourth share of the Browns; the team did, however, have another potential owner in Pat McGroder, then a successful liquor store owner and an advocate for the NFL's return to Buffalo. The NFL was not inclined to add a fourth team. The American Football League, a minor league formerly known as the "American Association," offered the Bills a spot in their league, but no Buffalo parties were interested in a minor league team. Coming with Breuil to Cleveland were three Bills players; the rest were dispersed in the 1950 AAFC Dispersal Draft among the NFL teams, with the Colts and Green Bay Packers picking up the majority of the Bills' roster. As it turned out, admitting the Colts over the Bills proved to be a mistake; the Colts folded after only one season.

McGroder would continue to lobby for an NFL team in Buffalo for the next decade. In 1959, when the American Football League proposed establishing the franchise that would ultimately also bear the Buffalo Bills name, McGroder was the first potential owner that AFL founder Lamar Hunt approached. McGroder declined the offer, still hoping that the threat of the new AFL team would be enough to provoke the NFL to stop it with the Buffalo NFL team he had hoped to receive, but Ralph Wilson, whose bid for a Miami AFL team had fallen through, accepted the bid. When it became clear that the NFL would not expand to Buffalo as McGroder had hoped, he took a position within the modern Bills organization, remaining until his retirement in 1983. The Bills entered the NFL with the rest of the AFL in 1970, and are still in operation as an NFL team to this day.

During their existence, the Bills played at Civic Stadium, later known as War Memorial Stadium.

Buffalo Bisons (1890) all-time roster

The Buffalo Bisons were a Major League Baseball franchise based in Buffalo, New York. The team existed for one season, 1890, and played in the Players' League. The Bisons played their home games at Olympic Park. Hall of Famer Connie Mack was part owner and catcher for the Bisons.

In their only year as a major league franchise, the Bisons finished the 1890 season with a 36-96 record, last place in the PL. Jack Rowe managed the majority of the teams games, with 99 games, and Jay Faatz managed 33 games. Dummy Hoy led Buffalo with a .298 batting average, and both Bert Cunningham and George Haddock led the team with 9 wins.

Buffalo Bisons (AHL)

The Buffalo Bisons were an American Hockey League ice hockey franchise that played from 1940 to 1970 in Buffalo, New York. They replaced the original Buffalo Bisons hockey team, which left the area in 1936 after its arena collapsed. They were the second professional hockey team to play their games in the Buffalo city proper, after the short-lived Buffalo Majors of the early 1930s; the previous Bisons team had played across the border at an arena in Fort Erie, Ontario.

Buffalo Bisons (IHL)

The Buffalo Bisons were a professional ice hockey team representing Buffalo, New York, although they played home games in nearby Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada, at the 5,000-seat Peace Bridge Arena.

Buffalo Bisons (NL)

The original Buffalo Bisons baseball club played in the National League between 1879 and 1885. The Bisons played their games at Riverside Park (1879–83) and Olympic Park (1884-85) in Buffalo, New York. The NL Bisons are included in the history of the minor-league team of the same name that still plays today; it is thus the only extant NL team from the 19th century that both still exists and no longer plays in Major League Baseball.

Buffalo Bisons (PL)

The Buffalo Bisons of 1890 were a member of the short-lived Players' League. This baseball team was managed by Jack Rowe and Jay Faatz, and they finished eighth (last) with a record of 36-96 while playing their home games at Olympic Park. Hall of Famer Connie Mack was a part-owner of the franchise, having invested his life savings of $500 in the team, none of which he ever recouped.

In addition to owning part of the team, Mack also played catcher, batting .266 in 123 games with the league. Famed deaf player Dummy Hoy played for the 1890 Bisons, as did two players who appeared in the previous NL incarnation of the Bisons, Jack Rowe and Deacon White.

The PL Bisons were an "outlaw" franchise that played concurrently with the minor league Buffalo Bisons and apparently used the stock Bisons name without the permission of the established club; the Players' League club also acquired the lease to Olympic Park for the seasons, forcing the "legitimate" Bisons to play elsewhere. They settled on the amateur Buffalo Baseball League's grounds near East Genesee Street and the Belt Line Railroad. They moved back to Olympic Park after the Players' League folded. The current Bisons franchise does not recognize the PL Bisons as part of their history.

Buffalo Bisons all-time roster

The following is a list of players and managers who appeared at least in one game for the original Buffalo Bisons National League franchise from 1879 through 1885.1 - Denotes a player on the 1879 original roster

2 - Denotes the first manager

3 - Denotes a manager

4 - Denotes a Hall of Fame member

Charles Radbourn

Charles Gardner Radbourn (December 11, 1854 – February 5, 1897), nicknamed "Old Hoss", was an American professional baseball pitcher who played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the Buffalo Bisons (1880), Providence Grays (1881–1885), Boston Beaneaters (1886–1889), Boston Reds (1890), and Cincinnati Reds (1891).

Born in New York and raised in Illinois, Radbourn played semi-professional and minor league baseball before making his major league debut for the Buffalo Bisons in 1880. After a one-year stint with the club, Radbourn joined the Providence Grays. During the 1884 season, Radbourn won 60 games, setting an MLB single-season record that has never been broken. He also led the National League (NL) in earned run average (ERA) and strikeouts to win the Triple Crown, and the Grays won the league championship. After the regular season, he helped the Grays win the 1884 World Series, pitching every inning of the three games.

In 1885, when the Grays team folded, the roster was transferred to NL control, and Radbourn was claimed by the Boston Beaneaters. He spent the next four seasons with the club, spent one year with the Boston Reds, and finished his MLB career with the Cincinnati Reds. Radbourn was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

Columbus Clippers

The Columbus Clippers are a professional Minor League Baseball team based in Columbus, Ohio. The team plays in the International League and is the Triple-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians. The team is owned by the government of Franklin County, Ohio.

From 1977 to 2008, the Clippers played in Cooper Stadium, which was known as Franklin County Stadium until 1984. The final game at "The Coop" was played on September 1, 2008, in front of a sellout crowd of 16,777. It was the third largest audience in stadium history. In 2009, the Clippers began playing in Huntington Park, located at the corner of Neil Ave. and Nationwide Blvd. in the Arena District of Columbus.

The Clippers began play in 1977 as an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates, changing its affiliation to the New York Yankees in 1979, beginning a 28-year relationship that ended in 2006. An affiliation with the Washington Nationals lasted from 2007 to 2008. A four-year affiliation with the Cleveland Indians was announced on September 18, 2008. That working agreement with the Indians has since been extended four times, now through the 2020 season.

Coincidentally, the major/minor league sports connection between Cleveland and Columbus is duplicated, but with reverse roles, in ice hockey, as the Cleveland Monsters are the top-level minor league affiliate of the National Hockey League's Columbus Blue Jackets.

In 2011, the team won back-to-back Governors' Cup championships for the first time since 1992 by defeating the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 3 games to 1 in the best-of-five series. They went on to defeat the Omaha Storm Chasers in the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game to win their second consecutive Triple-A baseball title.The 1992 Clippers were recognized as one of the 100 greatest minor league teams of all time. In 2016, Forbes listed the Clippers as the fifth-most valuable Minor League Baseball team with a value of $41 million.

Governors' Cup

The Governors' Cup is the trophy awarded each year to the champion of the International League, one of the two current Triple-A level minor leagues of Major League Baseball. It was first awarded in 1933 to the winner of a new postseason playoff system. The champions from the International League's creation in 1884 until 1932 were simply the regular season pennant winners.

Jack Rowe

John Charles "Jack" Rowe (December 8, 1856 – April 25, 1911) was an American professional baseball player, manager and team owner from 1877 to 1898. He played 12 years in Major League Baseball, as a shortstop (657 games), catcher (298 games), and outfielder (103 games), for four major league clubs. His longest stretches were in the National League with the Buffalo Bisons (1879–1885) and Detroit Wolverines (1886–1888). He was also a player-manager and part owner of the Buffalo Bisons of the Players' League in 1890, and the manager of the Buffalo Bisons (Eastern League) from 1896 to 1898.

Rowe appeared in 1,044 major league games, compiled a .286 batting average and .392 slugging percentage, and totaled 764 runs scored, 1,256 hits, 202 doubles, 88 triples, 28 home runs, and 644 RBIs. From 1881 to 1888, he was part of the "Big Four", a group of renowned batters (the others being Dan Brouthers, Hardy Richardson, and Deacon White) who played together in Buffalo and Detroit and led Detroit to the National League pennant and 1887 World Series championship.

Jim O'Rourke (baseball)

James Henry O'Rourke (September 1, 1850 – January 8, 1919), nicknamed "Orator Jim", was an American professional baseball player in the National Association and Major League Baseball who played primarily as a left fielder. For the period 1876–1892, he ranks behind only Cap Anson in career major league games played (1644), hits (2146), at-bats (6884), doubles (392) and total bases (2936), and behind only Harry Stovey in runs scored (1370) (Stovey was a younger player; Anson played five seasons and O'Rourke four prior to 1876.).

List of Buffalo Bisons managers

The Buffalo Bisons were a Major League Baseball team that was based in Buffalo, New York. They played in the National League from 1879 through 1885. During their time as a Major League team, the Bisons employed five different managers. The duties of the team manager include team strategy and leadership on and off the field.

Pud Galvin

James Francis "Pud" Galvin (December 25, 1856 – March 7, 1902) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher in the 19th century. He was MLB's first 300-game winner and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965.

Sports in Buffalo

Buffalo, New York and Western New York are home to two major league sports teams. The Buffalo Sabres (hockey) play in the City of Buffalo. The Buffalo Bills (football) play in the suburb of Orchard Park, New York. Buffalo is also home to several minor sports teams including the Buffalo Bisons (baseball), Buffalo Bandits (indoor lacrosse) and FC Buffalo (soccer). Several Buffalo-area colleges and universities are active in college athletics. The State University of New York at Buffalo play division I FBS football as well as other sports in Buffalo and the suburb of Amherst, New York.

Sports are a major part of the city's culture. In recent decades Buffalo based teams have become known for crushing, and sometimes controversial, defeats. "Wide Right", "No Goal" and the Music City Miracle have come to define the suffering of Buffalo Sports fans. In February 2012 Forbes listed Buffalo #4 on its list of "Most Miserable Sports Cities."Buffalo has received franchises in three major sports leagues, starting with the Buffalo Bills who began play in the inaugural 1960 American Football League season and eventually joined the National Football League in 1970 as part of the NFL-AFL merger. That same year, the Buffalo Braves joined the National Basketball Association, and the Buffalo Sabres joined the National Hockey League as expansion franchises. However, the Braves struggled financially and were relocated in 1978 to California and became the Clippers. That caused a perception that Western New York cannot economically support three major sports franchises. The Bills' decision to play one home game a year in nearby Toronto in 2008 in order to expand revenue has bolstered that perception further.

Buffalo last hosted Major League Baseball in 1915 with the Federal League's Buffalo Blues. Currently the highest level of professional baseball in the greater Buffalo region is the Buffalo Bisons, a AAA International League franchise.

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