May 18, 1990 -- It took a couple of years for a Buffalo Bisons player to hit a grand slam in the team's new ball park. Orlando Merced did his best to make the occasion a memorable one.
Merced launched the homer at then-Pilot Field in a 7-2 victory over the Nashville Sounds. Before this one, only one player Ñ Orestes Destrade Ñ had ever homered to the center-field side of the 384-foot sign in right-center.
This one was much more impressive. It was well over the fence in right center, and landed an estimated 420 feet from home plate.
"It was the first one of my career," Merced said about the slam to The News' Bob DiCesare. "I was pretty happy as I ran around the bases."
But it wasn't the longest homer of his Bison career. Merced had ripped a 452-footer into the parking lot earlier in the season.
Merced reached the majors with Pittsburgh later that season, and stayed with the Pirates through 1996. Then he bounced through six other teams before leaving the game in 2003.
--- Budd Bailey