John Boutet, the local man with the encyclopedic Web site of area sports history known as the Buffalo Sports Museum, penned an interesting letter to the sports editor over the weekend pointing out that last Friday was the 50th anniversary of the final Bisons game at old Offermann Stadium. The 5-3 loss to Toronto on Sept. 17, 1960 marked the end of a baseball era that stretched to 1889 at the site bounded by East Ferry, Masten, Michigan and Woodlawn.
With the death of longtime Buffalo baseball historian Joe Overfield in 2000, Boutet is one of the area's foremost experts on Offermann and, of course, has the memorabilia few of us do. He was gracious enough to send me a couple pictures of a personal ceremony of remembrance he had Friday at the site, which is now the home of the Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts and was the former home of The Traditional School.
The picture above on the left is taken from where home plate used to stand. The chair is an authentic Offermann seat and the photos include an overhead shot of the stadium and the famous manual scoreboard, which was cleared by Luke Easter during a game in 1957 in perhaps the most famous single home run in Buffalo baseball history.
The cap and jersey have the old script "B" because the Bisons were affiliated with the Detroit Tigers (and their script "D") during that time. Be sure to blow up the pictures for a closer look.
---Speaking of Triple-A baseball, Columbus won Tuesday's National Championship in Oklahoma City with a 12-6 win over Tacoma. Former Bison David Huff was the starter and winner for the Clippers, the Cleveland affiliate who took over with the Tribe when the parent club bailed here following the 2008 season.
---All Triple-A affiliations are set for next season, with the Blue Jays again stuck in Las Vegas. The Astros and Rangers traded Round Rock and Oklahoma City, with Houston returning to Oklahoma, where it had its first affiliate from 1962-72 and Texas going to the Nolan Ryan-owned Round Rock franchise.