We had a terrific ceremony to induct Jim Rosenhaus and Tony Pena into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon in Coca-Cola Field (full disclosure: I am a member of the selection committe).
Be sure to catch up on today's column on Rosenhaus, one of the class acts I've met in the game and someone I still enjoy chatting with when I make trips to Cleveland's Progressive Field. For 11 seasons here, I am privileged to say I had almost daily chats with him on the field, in the press box and clubhouse. Some great times.
I was there for his first game in 1996 in Nashville and went into the booth to wish him well a half-hour before the game and he was full-fledged panic mode because the equipment wasn't working. He did the game over a telephone for four innings with Duke McGuire before the folks at the station rescued him
One of my favorite memories was the Bisons' first title clincher in 1997 in Des Moines. I went into the booth to chronicle Rosenhaus' ninth-inning call of the final out for the next day's paper (no Internet broadcast to listen to back then). One problem: David Weathers gave up two runs in the ninth to blow a lead before Sean Casey's homer won it in the 10th. I did the same thing the next year in Game Four in Durham. Another two runs in the bottom of the ninth, this time producing an horrific defeat.
Rosenhaus and I then made a pact: No more trips to the booth by me! With the jinx out of the way, the Bisons won Game Five the next night to head to the World Series in Las Vegas. Rosenhaus hosted celebrations of those titles back at the ballpark in Buffalo and drew one of the biggest cheers in '97 when he pointed out the Herd could retire the trophy of the going-out-of-business American Association.
Rosenhaus roared the quote of the night: "It stays here. We don't have to give it back!"
I loved seeing the video today of the Bisons' three title-clinching outs in '97, '98 and here in '04 against Richmond. Classic Rosenhaus calls. A good broadcaster has to be able to paint a picture with his words and Rosenhaus certainly did that.
Kudos to a job well done, Rosey.