• Charlie Greene

In-Season Report 7

Hello Bisons Booster Club members, family and friends, This is your Booster Club First Vice-President reporting from Buffalo, New York. TRIVIA QUESTIONS: 1. How many perfect games have been pitched by Buffalo Bisons players? 2. For whom did Eddie Gaedel pinch-hit on August 19, 1951? Answers below. WEATHER REPORT: The highest temperature at the start of a game if the Bison had played their fifth home stand of this season would have been 78 degrees on Friday, May 5th, a 7:05 PM game, and the lowest temperature at the start of a game would have been 64 degrees on Wednesday, May 3rd, also a 7:05 PM game. SPORTS PAGE: On Thursday, May 28th, "hundreds" of minor league players were released with "hundreds" more to be released before June 6th.  Major League Baseball was assuming that all minor league baseball seasons will be canceled this year.  The baseball careers of up to 1,000 minor leaguers could come to an end.  Minor league players that are not released are being paid $400.00 per week through the end of June with no guarantees after that.  This is happening even though Major League Baseball made a record $10.7 billion in revenue in 2019. On Tuesday, June 2nd, the Bisons organization made a brief, but strong statement regarding inclusion, diversity and the rejection of racism.  You can read the full statement on the Bisons Facebook page.  Then, on Wednesday, June 3rd, Minor League Baseball issued a brief statement which said in part that "Minor League Baseball strives to lead in the quest for equality, understanding, respect and dignity." On June 6th, Mike Buczkowski, President of Rich Baseball Operations, spoke to members of the Bisons Booster Club via Zoom.  Among the information he shared with folks was that the protective screens at Sahlen Field have been extended in front of all the seats.  The pole holding the screen in right field is located in the parking area next to the loading dock.  The pole holding the screen in left field is located near the left field foul pole and is buried 30 feet below ground because of the softness of the soil in that area.  He also reported that Major League Baseball has expressed no flexibility in their proposal to eliminate 42 minor league teams before the start of the 2021 season. The June issue of Sports Illustrated magazine has a 10-page article about the condition of minor league franchises as a result of Major League Baseball's proposal to eliminate 42 teams and the canceling of games because of Covid-19.  Among the points made by the writer, Robert Sanchez, are: ...2 Triple-A level teams and 5 AA level teams said they were "extremely concerned" about their ability to continue operating in the future.  Because the author promised the teams would receive anonymity,  which teams responded that way is not indicated, but the Bisons were not one of them.  ...Even if season ticket holders roll over their payments to 2021, that does not help teams financially because it means they will not gain that income next year. ...Teams are resorting to various means to gain a little income.  For example, the management of the Colorado Springs Rocky Mountain Vibes have been filling food orders.  That has enabled the management to keep their kitchen staff employed. ...The AAA level Omaha Storm Chasers allow fans to park on the field for fireworks that were originally scheduled to be thrust skyward after a game. ...The Durham Bulls have loads of cardboard boxes filled with promotional T-shirts, hats and Bulls-emblazoned coolers. ...The MLB agreement with MiLB ends in September.  Without a new deal, there will be no provision for Major League Baseball to supply players to minor league teams in 2021. On page 83 of the same June issue of Sports Illustrated magazine, there is a photo of professional baseball players wearing face masks both at bat and in the field.  It happened back in 1918 and 1919 when the Spanish flu spread throughout the United States.  Would players be willing to do that this year?  Probably, that is very silly question! In Sympathy: Former Bisons pitcher (1959-1961) Henry Mason died on May 30th.  Mason pitched in the Negro Leagues, for the Bisons and 4 games with the Phillies. Transactions: Among the "hundreds" of minor league players that were released on May 28th were a right handed pitcher on the Gwinnett Stripers roster and a RHP and an outfielder on the Syracuse Mets roster.  On June 3rd, 2 pitchers, one righty and the other a lefty, were released by the Louisville Bats. IN OTHER NEWS: If the Bisons had played their home games from June 2 through 7, there would have been a travel pillow giveaway, an 80's Night Friday Night Bash with fireworks after the game, Star Wars Night, a Kid's Club Sunday and a Youth Baseball Day. TRIVIA ANSWERS: 1. The Buffalo Bisons have had 2 pitchers hurl perfect games: Bill Harris on June 3, 1936 vs Toronto, 2-0, a 7-inning game, and Dick Marlowe on August 15, 1952 vs Baltimore, 2-0, a 9 inning game. 2. Frank Saucier started in right field and batted leadoff for the St. Louis Browns on August 19, 1951.  Eddie Gaedel, at 3'7" and 65 pounds, pinch-hit for Saucier in what would have been his first at bat in the second game of a double-header against the Tigers.  Gaedel wore the number 1/8 on his back and carried a Little League bat to home plate.  It was a publicity stunt by Browns owner Bill Veeck to draw fans to the stadium during a season when total home attendance was 293,790, about 3,700 people per game.  Gaedel drew a four-pitch walk to begin the offense for the Browns.  Saucier had made his Major League debut the previous month and played his last game in September, finishing with one hit in 14 times at bat. BACK PAGE: If the Bisons were playing, they would end the fifth home stand of the season on the afternoon of Sunday, June 7th, have a day off on Monday, June 8th, and then leave for a 6-game road trip, 3 games in Norfolk and 3 games in Durham, before returning home on June 15th. Charlie Greene, First Vice-President,  Buffalo Bisons Booster Club

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