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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Going, going, lost

     July 20, 1883 -- The Buffalo Bisons of 1883 weren't exactly sluggers. It really was the dead ball era back then, as teams relied on singles, stolen bases and sacrifices to move runners around the bases.

     On this day, though, the Bisons turned into power hitters. Sort of.

     The Bisons were playing Philadelphia at Riverside Park. Hardy Richardson and Jack Rowe both hit balls into the long grass in the southeast corner of the field. In both cases, Connie Doyle of the Quakers couldn't find a baseball anywhere. That allowed both men to round the bases for a home run.

     That sort of power wasn't the norm. The Bisons hit only eight home runs for the entire season. One of them was by a pitcher, future Hall of Famer Pud Galvin. He hit a ball on July 3 that bounced off a road, over a shack, off a coal car and into a nearby stream.

     The Bisons finished with a 52-45 record in 1883. The Quakers wound up 17-81.

-- Budd Bailey


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