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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Heading for the door

     June 30, 1967 -- The road to departure by the Buffalo Bisons' baseball franchise started on this date, in a sense.

     The city of Buffalo was rocked by violence on the East Side on June 27. City leaders worked quickly to calm the tensions in the area. Still, the Bisons were playing home games in War Memorial Stadium, in the affected neighborhood.

     The Bisons played a home game on June 30, three days later. Only 117 fans turned out. Clearly, fast action was needed.

     Team president Jack Guthrie was up to the challenge. He announced the next day that Bisons would play its home games at Hyde Park Stadium in Niagara Falls, effectively immediately. A crowd of 2,621 turned out that night for a game.

     Eventually, the Bisons agreed to return to War Memorial Stadium for Sunday afternoon games. Still, attendance for the year dropped to around 105,000 in spite of the presence of future major-league superstar Johnny Bench.

--- Budd Bailey

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