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IL Star of Game award another nice touch to strong season for Herd's Hendriks

Liam
Liam Hendriks works in the first inning Wednesday. (Associated Press)

By Mike Harrington

One of the best seasons by a starting pitcher in recent Bisons history continued Wednesday night for right-hander Liam Hendriks, as he was voted the International League's "Top Star" in its 7-3 win over the Pacific Coast League at the Triple-A All-Star Game in Durham, N.C.

Hendriks threw two shutout innings and struck out four, one of shy of the record by a starter in the 27-year-old midsummer affair. He became the first Buffalo pitcher to win the game since Roy Smith in 1993, who did it when Triple-A was three leagues and the game was played under a National League vs. American League affiliates format.

Hendriks threw 25 pitches and 19 went for strikes, true to his form from a regular season that has seen him strike out 74 and walk only seven in 94 1/3 innings. He hit the break 7-1 with a 2.19 earned-run average.

MILB.com has its full wrapup of the game at this link, complete with video of the MLB Network postgame video wtih Hendriks (there's no embed code-sorry). 

Hendriks is the fourth Bisons player to earn a Top Star award at the game, joining DHs Luis Lopez (1995 American Association) and Russell Branyan (1999 IL) and pitcher Matt Harvey, who threw two shutout innings for the IL in 2012 when the Bisons hosted the game in Coca-Cola Field.

The Bisons resume their season tonight in Pawtucket. They are 48-48 with 47 games to play and stand five games back in the IL wild-card race.

Pete Weber & Kevin Lester talk 'Buffalo's Grand Old Game' on Fan590 in Toronto

By Mike Harrington

In the wake of Sunday's Inside Baseball column on the 30th anniversary of Buffalo's Grand Old Game, former Bisons announcer Pete Weber and Williamsville South AD/Bisons scorer/NY Knights & American League catcher Kevin Lester appeared late Monday night on the Jeff Sammut show on Sportsnet590 The FAN, the all-sports giant in Toronto.

Click below to hear the segment and, in case you missed them, here are the links to our blog entries this week featuring Weber's audio clips from the game:

Post 1 featuring audio and a YouTube

Post 2 featuring audio of Buffalo broadcast legend Stan Barron

Updated: Season over for Herd's Romero after knee surgery

By Mike Harrington

The day after his franchise-record, nine-walk meltdown May 16 against Gwinnett in Coca-Cola Field, Ricky Romero and I sat alone in the Bisons' dugout following batting practice and he insisted his arm was fine. But he also confirmed my suspicion when he told me his knees probably weren't.

The Blue Jays put Romero on the disabled list after two more starts in Buffalo that featured 10 more walks, and now from Sportsnet's Shi Davidi with the parent club in New York comes this news today: Romero has had surgery on his left knee and may be looking at work to be done on the other if an evaluation in six weeks deems it necessary.

7 p.m. update: The Blue Jays have confirmed Romero's surgery was performed June 17 in Los Angeles and is season-ending. Recovery time is listed as six months.

Romero, the former 15-game winner and American League All-Star, was 0-3 with a 5.50 ERA in nine starts for the Bisons this season. But more than that, he gave up 37 hits and 42 walks in just 37 2/3 innings while striking out only 28. His numbers and his hideous game-by-game log are all at this link.

The Blue Jays are paying Romero $7.5 million this year and $7.5 million next year before they can buy him out for $600,000 following the 2015 season. Now, it appears there's a distinct chance Romero's 2014 season could be over entirely.

And you thought Ville Leino made some easy money.

Late-night magic: Dodgers' Kershaw fires no-hitter with 15 Ks to stymie Rockies

By Mike Harrington

While you and I slept, we all missed one of the great pitching performances of all time: Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw pitched a no-hitter with 15 strikeouts in an 8-0 win over the Rockies -- coming a Hanley Ramirez error shy of a perfect game.

The Ramirez error came on a night he almost didn't play due to a finger injury. 

Here's an MLB.com article listing incredible facts about the no-no, topped by these two gems: It's the most strikeouts without a walk ever in a no-hitter and it's the second highest pitcher Game Score of all-time (102), behind only the 105 posted by the Cubs' Kerry Wood during his 20-strikeout game in 1998.

Here's MLB.com's no-hitter treatment video of all 27 outs -- made even better by the fact they're through the voice and grace of Vin Scully.

On the air: Harrington talks Yankees-Blue Jays in Syracuse

The Blue Jays and Yankees open a key series tonight in the Bronx and News Sports Reporter Mike Harrington looked at the series late this afternoon with St. Bonaventure grad Mike Lindsley on The Score 1260 in Syracuse. The interview was taped shortly before the Jays announced they have optioned 2013 All-Star reliever Steve Delabar back to the Bisons.

The interview also included Harrington's remembrances of Tony Gwynn and a brief discussion of the Sabres' announcement today that they will be buying out Ville Leino. Click the audio file below to listen to the interview.

 

Mike Harrington on AM1260 in Syracuse

Did-you-see-that Video: Cespedes' throw

By Mike Harrington

My email and Twitter feeds got these contributions today and they're both worth a look.

The first comes from the eighth inning of Tuesday's A's-Angels game, where Yoenis Cespedes makes up for his own gaffe in left field with a not-of-this-world throw to nail Howie Kendrick at the plate. Angels manager Mike Scioscia called it "a guided missile." Good description. Check it out:

Press box nightmare: Reporter's laptop felled by foul ball in Cincy

Laptop
The shattered screen of Mark Sheldon's laptop, from his Twitter feed.


By Mike Harrington

What's about the worst thing that can happen to a reporter in a press box, especially one on deadline? Easy. A laptop crash. We've all had them from time to time and usually a reboot can get you back up and running.

Then there's the issue of a foul ball. No way to get you running if you take a direct hit and MLB.com veteran Mark Sheldon was such a victim Tuesday night in Cincinnati, thanks to Pablo Sandoval of the Giants. You see the picture above that Sheldon tweeted -- and has more than 1,500 RTs and favorites as of early today -- and you can watch the video evidence below.

I feel for the poor guy, but his reaction is priceless. And how about the buddy who asks him if he wants the ball like he's a 10-year-old who got drilled in the hand?!

The Reds won the game, 8-3, to push their winning streak to four and Sheldon filed his story on the game with an assist from an associate who loaned him a laptop. His quick explanation on the laptop troubles is on his MLB.com blog

More from Joe Siddall on broadcasting and the Blue Jays

Jerry-Joe
Joe Siddall (right) with Jerry Howarth in the Blue Jays' radio booth. (Fox Sports Detroit)



By Mike Harrington

Be sure to read my column in Wednesday's editions on Canisius College outfielder Brett Siddall and his father, new Blue Jays radio announcer Joe Siddall, as they continue to cope with the February death of their 14-year-old brother/son, Kevin.

There are plenty of poignant thoughts in the story and Canisius will be playing with plenty of emotion during its MAAC Tournament opener against an opponent to be determined tonight in Lakewood, N.J. I talked to Joe Siddall Tuesday from Fenway Park prior to the Blue Jays' series opener against the Red Sox and made sure to get some Jays talk in as well that didn't really fit the column.

So here are the outakes of the interview, largely focused on Joe Siddall's MLB thoughts:

---Siddall said he can "talk baseball until I'm blue in the face" and was always comfortable dealing with the media as a player. He said learning the nuances of broadcasting has been a fascinating ride, especially the depth of preparation that goes into a television broadcast in areas such as pre-planned graphics. He spent five games on the last homestand working in the Sportsnet TV booth.

"It's been a comfortable transition, from the broadcasting perspective and learning tricks of the trade," he said. "I continue to bounce things off Buck Martinez, Pat Tabler, Jerry Howarth and learn things that help me get better. 

"TV is a different ballgame so to speak. It's such a big production, starting with the meeting during the day, so you're prepared for the show opening and the graphics you'll be discussing during the game. It's really neat. I joked after my five days that I will certainly watch a game on TV differently now because now you know what went in to all the things. A really cool experience."

On legendary Jays announcer Howarth: "It's been great working with him since day one. He's been that right-hand guy to give me tips and pointers and it's helped our broadcast. The No. 1 thing Jerry has taught me is to have fun. When you're in the booth, have fun, joke, laugh, talk baseball. That's what people want to hear."

The Blue Jays in the AL East --  "They're hanging in because everybody has issues, all these teams are struggling. We're here in Boston and here's a team coming off the World Series that's struggling and not consistent whatsoever. The Blue Jays' lineup is tremendous."

Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista -- "He's special. I worked batting practice with the Tigers for 12 years and worked with Miguel Cabrera every day. Imagine what that's like. Maybe Jose isn't Miguel Cabrera but he's just about the same type of player every time out. He's had tremendous discipline here. When Edwin Encarnacion was scuffling, Jose didn't try to do too much and he contributed offensively."

Jose Reyes as an X-factor guy: "He seems to be coming along. If he gets on base consistently, he would score so many runs. The lineup is so deep with power that if Reyes gets on base, it's really going to be tough. What's really going to be the big factor is the pitching. They have to solidify that. And who doesn't say this, but it would sure be nice to have one more solid big-league starter."

Red-hot Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle: "I can't not laugh answering a question about him. I have to chuckle. The way he does it is unbelievable. It should inspire every kid in the minor leagues who throws 84 mph. He locates so well. You do that it doesn't matter if it's at 84 or 94. He changes speed, moves it in and out. He's a classic pitcher...He's good at his craft."

Pujols Twitter
From left, Canisius teammates Anthony Massicci, Brett Siddall and Connor Panas pose with Albert Pujols of the Angels last week in Toronto. (Joe Siddall Twitter photo)

Go to the video: Kawasaki does Bisons' in-game interview

By Mike Harrington

The Bisons' broadcast team does an in-game interview during each home contest, and Ben Wagner and Duke McGuire usually talk strategy with manager Gary Allenson. During Sunday's series finale against Charlotte, they tried a different idea.

Brace yourself, Toronto. It was Munenori Kawasaki.

The Japanese infielder became a folk hero in Toronto -- and earned himself a couple appearances on MLB Network's "Intentional Talk" -- with a post-game interview that went completely viral after his walkoff hit beat the Orioles last May. This one was simply epic.

So starting off with that reference to "I am Japaneeeeese", here's how Kawasaki's chat went Sunday. His English is improving for sure. Note the references to Buffalo's cold weather, coaching at first base, living in a hotel and sushi.

Farewell, winter: Bisons announcer takes to the air with great audio montage

By Mike Harrington

So are you ready for Opening Day? Bisons radio/TV man Ben Wagner sure is. Here's how Wagner opened things on the air today, with the sounds of one harsh winter giving way -- finally -- to the sounds of spring and summer.

Great stuff.

Ben Wagner kicks off the 2014 season.

The Boston papers celebrate

By Mike Harrington

BOSTON -- Here's how Thursday's Boston Globe and Boston Herald portrayed the World Series triumph of the Red Sox. (Images from Newseum.org)
---------------------------------------------

Globe sports

Herald

Red Sox owner Henry on buying Boston Globe: 'I'm in this to make a difference, just like most of the people I have met in journalism'

Globe
The front page of today's Boston Globe (Newseum.org)
By Mike Harrington

 

ST. LOUIS -- Red Sox owner John Henry wrapped up his purchase of the Boston Globe in the last few days and penned a fascinating column in Sunday's paper for his motivations behind it. 

In the hours leading to Game Five of the World Series, it's well worth your time to click that link and read the column if you want to step away from sports for a few minutes.

Skeptics may sneer, of course, but Henry didn't buy the Globe to commandeer any negative coverage of the Red Sox. It's going to be a tough conflict for those reporters, much like Cubs writers struggled for many years with the perception that they were an arm for the parent Chicago Tribune when it owned the team. Henry has made it clear from the beginning he's not influencing sports coverage but the proof will be in the pudding as they say. Or at least in the fried chicken and beer!

Henry said he believes in newspapers, and especially the Globe, as institutions. And nowhere can that be seen more in time of crisis, as the Globe spearheaded the flow of information in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

It reminds me of the way The News covered the crash of Flight 3407 in Clarence Center in 2009 and has spent the ensuing years with reams of important coverage on changes to rules in the commuter airline industry.

What struck me the most about Henry's column was this sentence: "As I studied the problems that beset the newspaper industry, I discovered a maddening irony: The Boston Globe, through the paper and its website, had more readers than at any time in its history."

That's probably true of a lot of papers and it's certainly true of The News. Print circulation may be down some, not nearly as much as other cities, but the total consumption of our information in print and online is vastly higher -- yes, I said higher -- than it was years ago. 

I get bombarded on Twitter all the time with the cliche of "newspapers are dying" so let me get a soapbox point out: It's not true. At all. They're changing. We have more information on more platforms -- print, audio, video -- than ever before. I used to come to the World Series as recently as 2006 and do nothing more than write one or two stories a day for the newspaper.

Now there's multiple stories for the paper, a wrapup story for the Web, blogs like this one, a postgame podcast, Flickr streams, my Twitter feed and even Vines. The company gets more production from its employees and ultimately the readers get much more content from an event like this than the days of a lone columnist penning one piece a day.

As for all those people -- especially the under-30 crowd -- who say they "get their news" on Twitter or Facebook and the media isn't needed? Where do a huge amount of those links come from?

Newspapers. 

Soapbox over. Game Five coming up later tonight.

Twenty years ago tonight, Joe Carter touched 'em all for Jays

The famous call of Hall of Fame Blue Jays radio voice Tom Cheek and the call of CBS' Sean McDonough.

By Mike Harrington

BOSTON -- Weren't we supposed to be in the Rogers Centre tonight? That was the talk all winter. The Toronto Blue Jays were finally going to become relevant again, just as they joined up with the Bisons on a new affiliation.

Remember that lengthy cover story in March to our MLB preview section with the incredible cartoon on the cover? I went to Jays spring training in Florida and optimism was everywhere, even so much as R.A. Dickey telling me, "It’s great to have depth throughout the organization. I can guarantee you we’re not going to win a World Series without being able to call Buffalo and have people from Triple-A able to help. It just doesn’t work. They’re going to be vital to our chances this year."

It all went awry, of course. The Blue Jays finished last in the AL East when many people picked them to win it. The Red Sox finished first when many people picked them to finish last. They're hosting Game One of the World Series tonight at Fenway against the Cardinals.

So the Jays' drought continues. And it dates to 20 years ago tonight -- Oct. 23, 1993 -- when Joe Carter hit just the second walkoff home run to end a Series in the history of the Fall Classic to beat Mitch Williams and the Phillies in Game Six at the then-Skydome. The Jays haven't played a single postseason inning since.

Carter nearly left Toronto in free agency after the '92 title and returned home to play for the Royals, as this Kansas City Star column reprinted in today's Toronto Star reveals. Wow. Never heard that story. 

Gregor Chisolm of MLB.com has this retrospective with Carter.

Sportsnet has a great collection of memories from lots of the folks involved.

Scott MacArthur of TSN was in the stands that night as a 14-year-old and provided his personal memories. I will remind him when I see him here tonight that he should have kept his braces on.

And what about Williams, the Phillies' "Wild Thing?" He answered wave after wave of questions that night and our own Jerry Sullivan gave us his tale in this look from the archives

Bisons extend radio deal with ESPN1520

By Mike Harrington

BOSTON --  The Buffalo Bisons have announced a three-year extension of their radio contract with newly-named ESPN1520, the former WWKB. It runs through the 2016 season. The 50,000-watt station, which has a strong reach up and down the Eastern seaboard, has been the home of the Herd since 2008 and was rebranded in September as an ESPN affiliate.

The partnership will include all 144 regular season Bisons’ games, the broadcast of the annual Triple-A All Star Game (next year’s game is on July 16 in Durham), all Bisons’ postseason games and the Triple-A National Baseball Championship Game. 

The Bisons open 2014, their second season as a Toronto affiliate, on Thursday, April 3 against Rochester in Coca-Cola Field at 2:05 p.m.

Live from Beantown, Welcome to World Series Media Day

Fenway
The Yawkey Way entrance to Fenway Park is quiet Tuesday morning.

By Mike Harrington

BOSTON -- Greetings from Beantown! I'll be on hand this afternoon at Fenway Park to get the lowdown as the Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals chat it up on the eve of their World Series opener.

WSlogoIt's MLB's fifth annual World Series Media Day, where the teams get a break from having reporters crowding into their clubhouse for a day and instead meet them en masse, Super Bowl style. We started this in 2009 at the Great Hall of Yankee Stadium, a tremendous visual that went over so well with all parties involved that baseball has opted to continue doing it each year.

This year, we're gathering in the State Street Pavilion at Fenway, an elite club seating area in the upper deck near the press box featuring plenty of old photos of Red Sox of the past. Here's today's schedule:

1:00-1:45 -- Cardinals group media session
2:00-3:00 -- Cardinals workout
3:00-3:30 -- Manager Mike Matheny/Game One starter Adam Wainwright in Series interview room
4:00-4:45 -- Red Sox group media session
4:50-5:00 -- Red Sox Game One starter Jon Lester
5:10-5:30 -- Red Sox manager John Farrell
5:00-6:00 -- Red Sox workout 

It's slated to be a sunny day with temperatures pushing 70. Too bad we're not opening the series this afternoon, or even tonight because the weather forecast for Game One on Wednesday night is, frankly, yukky.

The high Wednesday is only slated to be 51 degrees with a 50 percent chance of rain during the day. The rain probability drops at night but so does the temperature, which could slide into the 30s -- yes, the 30s. Brrr. 

Keep it here for plenty of news, quotes and quips all through the Series. I'll also be chirping on my Twitter feed with instant updates. 

Must-see video: Mariano says farewell to the Bronx


The radio/TV calls as Mariano Rivera is pulled from the game by Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter. (YES Network-WCBS Radio/Sun Sports TV-WDAE Radio)

NYD
The incredible front-back horizontal cover of today's New York Daily News.

By Mike Harrington

It's being called simply the coolest pitching change in the history of baseball. Hyperbole perhaps? Sure. But after what we saw in the ninth inning Thursday night in Yankee Stadium, no one is going to argue.

If you missed it, Mariano Rivera got four straight outs in the Yankees' 4-0 loss to Tampa Bay. With two outs in the top of the ninth, longtime teammates Andy Pettitte and Derek Jeter -- and not manager Joe Girardi -- came out to the mound to remove him from the game, with a smiling Jeter clearly mouthing "Time to go". Rivera and Pettitte exchanged a long hug, with Rivera sobbing on his friend's shoulders, before he headed for the dugout and curtain calls. When the game ended, Rivera came back to the mound to collect some dirt for posterity.

Girardi masterminded the moment and got the blessing of the umpires. 

And during an emotional press conference, Rivera took time to thank the media because he told several of them he regretted doing so during his pregame speech to the crowd on Sundays. He said, "I love you guys" and the writers in the room correctly broke every rule about media decorum and applauded. Awesome.

My feeling is that is how Mariano should go out as a pitcher. No offense to the good folks of Houston, but I hope he doesn't throw in the Yankees' final series there this weekend. If he wants to play center field maybe let him do it. Otherwise, this should be the goodbye. Still, this New York Daily News story says he might do both.

Also in the Daily News, Mark Feinsand neatly writes, "Credit Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte with the save Thursday night."

And how about the incredible horizontal front-back cover the Daily News put out above -- on deadline with no warning this was going to happen!

In the New York Post, great friend of this blog Mike Vaccaro writes it was a sendoff befitting the best ever. Post teammate Kevin Kernan simply closed by saying "What a Mo-Ment it was."

A great tweet from Rays Manager Joe Maddon: "For me tonight was not unlike the Ripken moment. Hard to imagine anyone surpassing Mariano. It's like DiMaggio's streak: untouchable."

It's Durham vs. Omaha for Triple-A title as IL, PCL seasons end

The Durham Bulls celebrate the last out of the Governors' Cup final.

By Mike Harrington

The Durham Bulls and Omaha Storm Chasers wrapped up their league titles Saturday night and will meet Tuesday night in Lehigh Valley in the Triple-A National Championship Game (7 p.m., NBCSN).

Both teams won the titles in Game Four on the road. Durham won at Pawtucket, 7-0, while Omaha -- a 70-74 team during the regular season -- wrapped up a 6-1 PCL postseason with a 10-5 win at Salt Lake.

The Durham victory was particularly amazing because the Bulls held Pawtucket scoreless for the final 29 innings of the series, including all 20 at the PawSox home field. Durham won Game Three in McCoy Stadium on Friday night, 2-0 in 14 innings, as Pawtucket managed just four hits. The PawSox had only two hits in the finale. Former Wilson High and UB pitcher Steve Geltz retired both batters he faced in the eighth inning of the finale.

Here's the Providence Journal recap of the final game.

And here's the Durham Herald-Sun's story on the Bulls' fourth title since joining the IL in 1998. The Bulls also won in 2002 (sweeping the Bisons in the final), 2003 and 2009, when they took the Triple-A title with a win over Memphis.

IL, PCL finals resume tonight: Pawsox-Bulls tied, Omaha can clinch 2nd title in three years

By Mike Harrington

Pawtucket and Durham split the first two games of the Governors' Cup finals and will continue the International League championship series tonight at Pawtucket's McCoy Stadium. The Red Sox are trying to become back-to-back champions for the first time in their history and all three of their previous championships were won on the road. With the final three games in Rhode Island, they could wrap up a title at McCoy for the first time.

The teams split 2-1 victories at Durham Bulls Athletic Park, with the hosts taking Wednesday's game to even the series. In the Pacific Coast League, Omaha won its two games at home and heads to Salt Lake with a 2-0 lead in its series. Both series took Thursday off.

The Omaha Storm Chasers are the longtime Kansas City affiliate known as the Royals when the Bisons played them in their American Association days. They won their division in the regular season with a 70-74 record but upset 82-win Oklahoma City in three straight in the semifinals and are trying to make it 6 for 6 against Salt Lake, the Angels affiliate. The Bees beat Wally Backman-led Las Vegas, the Mets affiliate that was booted from Buffalo after last season, in four games in the semis.

Omaha won both games Wednesday, 3-2 and 2-1 (with the second win coming on a walk-off homer), after Tuesday's opener was suspended by rain.

The winners meet in the Triple-A National Championship Game, which is Tuesday night at Lehigh Valley and will be televised on NBC Sports Network. 

From Buffalo across the Pacific, Wang still going global

By Mike Harrington

Look below for an image tweeted by the Bisons of the front page of today's China Times, featuring Chien-Ming Wang and Bisons pitching coach Bob Stanley (middle). Clearly, they're talking about the Buffalo debut today of Wang, the former Yankees ace throwing in the second game of the doubleheader against Syracuse.

And here's a (very rough) translation of the story. No idea what Uncle Google is doing giving us all these Aberdeen references. 

China times

A different view on the air for tonight's Bisons game

By Mike Harrington

Ben-DukeThere might be some changeups on the mound tonight from Dave Bush and there will be a bit of a changeup in the broadcast "booth" tonight as the Bisons and Norfolk Tides open a four-game series in Coca-Cola Field.

With more mid-70s weather, Ben Wagner and Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Duke McGuire will take it outside this evening and do the game from a table on the club level from behind home plate for WWKB (1520 AM) and across the Internet at Bisons.com. Wagner tweeted a shot of the setup here (left) and I've already reminded him foul balls come in hot from right-handed hitters and I'm expecting some good plays to be made.

Bush (3-1, 1.61) continues to excel since returning from Toronto. He's given up zero or one run in three of his four starts and is coming off a solid one last Tuesday in Rochester, where he gave up one run in six innings and threw 57 of his 78 pitches for strikes. 

Moises Sierra is back in the Buffalo lineup batting third after sitting out Sunday's game following the hand plunking he took in the first inning Saturday against Louisville. He enters tonight seventh in the IL in batting at .354. Jim Negrych continues to lead at .420 while Josh Thole is fourth (.361) and league RBI leader Luis Jimenez is fifth (.360). 

Former Bison outfielder Jason Pridie is batting leadoff tonight for Norfolk. Ex-IL MVP Russ Canzler, who was signed by Toronto during the offseason and later waived, is batting third for the Tides, who are coming off a 7-1 homestand and are tied for the South Division lead with Durham at 20-10. The Bisons (19-9) continue to lead the North by two games. 

Here's Buffalo's lineup tonight:

Anthony Gose, cf
Jim Negrych, 2b
Moises Sierra, rf
Luis Jimenez, dh
Andy LaRoche, 3b
Josh Thole, c
Mauro Gomez, 1b
Ryan Langerhans, lf
Ryan Goins, ss
---
Dave Bush, p

A final note on the outdoor broadcast. It's not a first here. BBHOFer Pete Weber famously did one in 1989 -- climbing to the roof of then-Pilot Field to get an incredible panoramic view of the ballpark so he could see what it would be like to have a seat in the upper deck if the park was expanded for a major-league team.

You can check out the pic below from Weber's archives (h/t for the email assist from Nashville from the voice of the NHL's Predators). Be sure to click on the picture for a great full-screen view. You can see the old metal bleachers in right field, the old scoreboard and the old fence configuration. Ed Sprague is batting in the game against the Syracuse Chiefs, who were the Triple-A affiliate of none other than the Blue Jays! The Bisons, of course, were with the Pirates at the time.

And what's missing beyond the parking lot and Buffalo News building as you look past right field? No giant dome of First Niagara Center. How strange to see.

Great Rooftop View at Pilot Field

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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington | mharrington@buffnews.com


Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz | amoritz@buffnews.com

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