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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: A grand time at the park

     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


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.