Buffalo Bisons

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Michael Buczkowski)
Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the Triple-A minor league baseball franchise. For other uses, see Buffalo Bisons (disambiguation).
Buffalo Bisons
Founded in 1979
Buffalo, New York
BuffaloBisons13.PNG BuffaloBisons13cap.PNG
Team logo Cap insignia
Class-level
Current Triple-A (1985–present)
Previous Double-A (1979–1984)
Minor league affiliations
League International League (1998–present)
Division North Division
Previous leagues
Major league affiliations
Current Toronto Blue Jays (2013–present)
Previous
Minor league titles
League titles 1933, 1936, 1957, 1961, 1997, 1998, 2004
Division titles 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005
Team data
Nickname Buffalo Bisons (1979–present)
Colors Scarlet, blue, white
              
Ballpark

Coca-Cola Field (1988–present)

  • Dunn Tire Park (1998–2008)
  • North AmeriCare Park (1995–1998)
  • Pilot Field (1988–1994)
Previous parks
Owner(s)/
Operator(s)
Bob Rich Jr.
Manager Gary Allenson
General manager Michael Buczkowski

The Buffalo Bisons are a professional minor league baseball team based in Buffalo, New York. They currently play in the International League (IL) and are currently the Triple-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Bisons play at Coca-Cola Field in downtown Buffalo.

The current incarnation of the Bisons was founded in 1979, when Buffalo ownership interests purchased the Jersey City A's of the Double-A Eastern League and moved the team to the city.

History[edit]

Previous Buffalo Bisons teams[edit]

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

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 is 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 (formerly known as the Eastern League) through June 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.[1] 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.[citation needed]

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 would go on to win 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 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.

Mets era[edit]

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.[2]

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.[3]

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.[4]

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.[5]

The 2011–2012 off-season once again saw coaching changes. Tim Teufel was replaced by Wally Backman.[6] He was introduced on November 17, 2011.

Blue Jays era[edit]

The Bisons' agreement with the Mets ended after the 2012 season because the Bisons' management was dissatisfied with poor attendance and performance during the Mets era. The Bisons enjoyed only one winning season out of the four years that they were affiliated with the Mets.[7] Consequently, the Bisons signed a player development contract with the Toronto Blue Jays on September 18, 2012.[8][9] 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 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.[10][11]

On August 29, 2013, the Bisons and Blue Jays agreed on extending the contract to the 2016 season.[12]

Year-by-year records[edit]

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 John Upon 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 Gomez
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

Titles[edit]

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, six times since its inception in 1998.

Roster[edit]

Buffalo Bisons roster
Players Coaches/Other

Pitchers

Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


Injury icon 2.svg 7-day disabled list
* On Toronto Blue Jays 40-man roster
∞ Reserve list
§ Suspended list
‡ Restricted list
# Rehab assignment
Roster updated September 19, 2014
Transactions
More MiLB rosters
Toronto Blue Jays minor league players

Alumni[edit]

Retired numbers[edit]

Notable former Bisons[edit]

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[edit]

Player/Manager[14] 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
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

Mascots[edit]

Buster on the field energizing the fans

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.

Other unofficial Bisons entertainers include Conehead, a beer vendor who wears a rubber cone-head hat, 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. 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[edit]

All Bisons games can be heard on WWKB/1520 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.

Beginning in 2009, Friday games aired as a Game of the Week package on WGR AM 550. These games are a simulcast of those airing on WWKB. Also, Buffalo Bisons games are sometimes aired on SportsNet New York, which is co-owned by Time Warner Cable and the New York Mets (as well as Comcast).

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.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vecsey, George (March 28, 1990). "SPORTS OF THE TIMES; A Yankee Comes Back To Baseball". New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved February 20, 2008. 
  2. ^ "Buffalo Bisons and New York Mets sign player development contract" New York Mets. September 22, 2008. Retrieved on September 28, 2008.
  3. ^ "Bisons Unveil New Primary Logo" Buffalo Bisons. December 16, 2008. Retrieved on December 17, 2008.
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ [2][dead link]
  6. ^ "Klapisch: Backman shows loyalty to Mets". NorthJersey.com. November 6, 2011. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Bisons, Jays officially open talks on affiliation – Sports". The Buffalo News. September 16, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Buffalo Bisons (September 18, 2012). "Bisons and Blue Jays sign two-year player development contract | Buffalo Bisons News". Milb.com. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ 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. 
  11. ^ Parker, John (April 18, 2013). "Negrych cycles in Bisons' record rout". MLB.com. Retrieved April 20, 2013. 
  12. ^ Harrington, Mike (August 29, 2013). "Bulletin: Bisons extend deal with Blue Jays through 2016". The Buffalo News. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame." Buffalo Bison. Retrieved on September 28, 2008.

External links[edit]