The Buffalo Bisons are a minor league baseball team based in Buffalo, New York which plays in the International League (IL). They are the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets. The Bisons play at Coca-Cola Field, located in downtown Buffalo.
The history of teams known as the Buffalo Bisons dates to 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. (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 not currently 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 that year.
This franchise continued in the IL (known as the Eastern League from 1891 to 1911) through June 11, 1970, when it transferred to Winnipeg, Manitoba as the Winnipeg Whips, due to poor attendance and stadium woes. 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. After stops in Winnipeg and Hampton, Virginia, the team was suspended after the 1973 season to make way for the Memphis Blues.
The Bisons name was revived when a Double-A Eastern League franchise moved to Buffalo in 1979. That team assumed the previous Bisons team history. 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.
In their current incarnation, the Bisons have made the playoffs twice. In 2004, the team came back from being 10 games out of first-place in late June to winning their division by a convincing 9½ games. 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 failed once again 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 Mets eraEdit
After the 2008 season, Buffalo parted ways with the 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.
On December 16, 2008, the Mets officially announced that Ken Oberkfell will be the Bisons new manager for 2009. At the same press conference, the Bisons also unveiled their new logo. The logo pays homage to baseball's 123 year 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.
|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)
|67||70||.489||Steve Demeter||Lost in Semi-Finals, 0–2 (Millers)|
|1981||Pirates||Eastern League||North|| 4th (first half)|
2nd (second half)
|56||81||.409||John Upon||Did not qualify|
|1982||Pirates||Eastern League||North|| 4th (first half)|
4th (second half)
|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 Gomez|
|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|
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.
- 1933 – Defeated Rochester
- 1936 – Defeated Baltimore
- 1938 – Lost to Newark
- 1947 – Lost to Syracuse
- 1949 – Lost to Montréal
- 1957 – Defeated Miami
- 1961 – Defeated Rochester
- 1998 – Defeated Durham
- 2002 – Lost to Durham
- 2004 – Defeated Richmond
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, six times since its inception in 1998.
Former Bisons in the majors in 2009Edit
(former Bisons players who have participated in at least one MLB game in 2009)
Buffalo Bisons in the National Baseball Hall of FameEdit
|Player/Manager||Year Inducted||Years with the Bisons|
|Connie Mack||1937||1890 (played for the outlaw PL Bisons)|
|Joe Tinker||1946||1930 (Coach)|
|Gabby Hartnett||1955||1946 (Manager)|
|Ray Schalk||1955||1932–1937, 1950 (Manager)|
|John Montgomery Ward||1964||1877|
|Pud Galvin||1965||1878–1885, 1894|
|Bucky Harris||1975||1918–1919, 1944–1945 (Manager)|
|Jim Bunning||1996||1953, 1955|
The Most popular and athletic Mascot in the Buster Bison Mascot history was performed by a local gymnast, Rick McKay. He had a big following with both the kids and the fans alike. He regularly did break dancing to Michael Jackson music between innings. Also, he performed gymnastic stunts throughout each game. He was the last Mascot in the Bison's old War Memorial Stadium, and the first to perform at the then new, Rich Stadium.
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.(in 2007 his number was 07). Chip's number has always been 1/2. 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 1/4. 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.
Other unofficial Bisons include Conehead, a beer vendor who wears a rubber conehead hat, and The Earl of Bud, another beer vendor, who during the third inning would climb on the dugout and dance. His last appearance was at the 20th Anniversary game for Dunn Tire Park in August 2007. Also a longtime challenged fan named "hamburger" can be seen behind home plate making his opinion known throughout the ballpark.
There is also the Kevin the "K-man." Kevin is a fan with season tickets, who sits in the upper deck, and hangs a green "K" sign every time a Bisons pitcher records a strikeout. He puts the sign up backwards when the batter is called out looking, just as in baseball scorekeeping.
All Bisons games can be heard on WWKB-AM in Buffalo and many games are televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet throughout Western New York. Ben Wagner handles play by play while veteran Duke McGuire is color commentator.
In 2010, Justin Sheinis was added to the broadcast team. He will call some play-by-play and color commentary as well as host nearly every pre- and post-game show for the season. He will also put together video package and write feature articles for the Bisons team website, bisons.com. New for 2010, Friday games will air as a Game of the Week package on WGR. These games will be a simulcast of those airing on WWKB.
<ref>tags exist, but no
<references/>tag was found