Buffalo, New York
|Owned/Operated By: Walter Mullen, Laurens Enos, Oliver Cabana and William E. Robertson|
|Last General Manager:|
|Last Manager: Larry Schlafly, Walter Blair and Harry Lord|
The Buffalo Blues were a professional baseball club that played in the short-lived Federal League, which was a minor league in 1913 and a full-fledged outlaw major league the next two years. It was the last major league baseball team to be based in the city of Buffalo. In 1913 and 1914, as was the standard for Federal League teams, the franchise did not have an official name, instead going by the generic BufFeds.
The Buffalo team played at International Fair Association Grounds. Due to delays in construction of their new ballpark, the team did not play their first home game until a month after the Federal League season had started. Buffalo sold shares of stock of the team to the public through a series of newspaper ads. Preferred shares were sold for $10 each.
In the 1914 season, the team posted a 80-71 record (.530) and finished in fourth place, seven games behind the league champion Indianapolis Hoosiers. In the league's second and final season, the team, then known as the Buffalo Blues, ended in sixth place with a 74-78 mark (.487), 12 games behind the Chicago Whales.
An unusual player who played for the Blues in 1914 was Ed Porray; the only major leaguer whose birthplace is not a place, but rather noted as "on a ship somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean," on December 5, 1888.
- As is usual, the baseball uniform is adorned with a team or city name angled across the shirt front in script lettering. Buffalo became the first big league club to use this design during the 1914 season in the Federal League. It was not until 1930 that the script lettering was reintroduced into big league baseball, when the Detroit Tigers adopted the style that has since been embraced by nearly every major league club at some time during its history. The earliest known use of script lettering on any professional team uniform is 1902, when the style was used by both Oakland and San Francisco of the California League.
- Although the major league Buffalo baseball team was better known as the Buffeds or the Blues the official name was still the Buffalo Bisons. It is generally not referred to as such, due to the continued existence of the minor-league Buffalo Bisons, which led to the adoption of the Blues nickname to disambiguate the two.
Buffalo has had three attempts at major league baseball. Prior to the Buffeds, were the Buffalo Bisons, from which the current minor league team derives its name and history. They entered the NL in 1879 and came in third place only 10 games out from first place. They had two notable players; Hall of Famers Pud Galvin and Dan Brouthers. The Bisons team was dismantled after only seven years in the majors. In 1890, another Buffalo baseball team emerged coincidentally called the Bisons. This team has notably one of the worst season records to date. The Buffalo Blues were actually the last of the three major league teams Buffalo had between 1879 and 1915. A proposed Continental League team (to be owned by future Buffalo Sabres owner Robert O. Swados) was slated for Buffalo in 1961, but the league folded before playing any games.
The closest that any major league baseball team has come to Buffalo since then is Toronto (70 miles away as the crow flies), where the Toronto Blue Jays have played since 1977. The Blue Jays do not have a particularly strong following in Buffalo, in part due to the Canada – United States border running between Buffalo and Toronto; this may change as the Bisons affiliate with the Blue Jays beginning in the 2013 season. For regional sports network purposes, Buffalo is considered to be in the media market of the New York Yankees, 400 miles to the southeast.
- Baseball Hall of Fame
- Baseball Reference
- Bison's History: The 1910s
- Federal League ballparks
- Federal League teams