The Church of Baseball

Despite being a Mets fan, I still enjoy the old ball game. Despite the Buffalo Bisons‘ supplying the parent club with just enough talent to run for the bus, it remains one of my favorite wastes of time. I think my Dad and I might have discovered a baseball version of Mystery Science Theater, as a nice amount of snark can brighten up diamond miscues. While what was left for this year’s Bisons mostly celebrated their time downtown instead of a decent record, it is still fun. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News found this about the Bisons time at the Rockpile and I thought it merited a further showing.

It was kind of cool to see. Almost 40,000 came out to send the Bisons off downtown. That was an interesting place to see a game to be sure. The archways of the old stadium remain as part of the Wiley Sports Complex and I think that was mostly because they couldn’t get them down. You do remember your firsts, and my first time in that building was watching the Johnny Unitas led Baltimore Colts dismantle the Buffalo Bills.  When the hardly mentioned Double A Bisons started up in 79, I think, the place got an entirely different ambiance. Plays at first were often obscured by the smoke coming from the rib stand on the first base side of the stadium.

I still have one of the Joe De Sa batting practice home runs I picked up off the ground in the party tent in left field, having left the other 5 or 6 for other attendees.

Had its charms, No?


One thought on “The Church of Baseball

  1. Oh My…you mentioned Joe De Sa. I can remember a DH at the Rockpile when Joe hit a HR over the scoreboard out in left to win one of the games. I too have some of the same memories of that place. My first FB game was a preseason game vs. the Pats, but I remember my dad taking me to my first regular season game…1972 vs Baltimore, a 17-0 loss. That was my last visit to old War Memorial until the Bisons.

    In the early 80’s until the closing of the place in 87, I remember spending uncountable summer evenings there. It certainly had it’s own charm, in a 1930’s, Natural kind of way. Perfect setting for that movie IMO. Joe De Sa was a small part of it, and I still remember hearing of his untimely death. The 1st base stands about 10 rows up was our hangout (me and my dad), and I can still smell the grilled food smell that came up from behind home plate, the Butcher (and his pall the Beef) shagging fouls off the screen, Beach Boys doubleheaders, old timer’s games, bus trips with the bar gang on Sunday afternoon, those horrible mid-80’s Chisox wannabe Uni’s (that you Kenny “the Hawk” Harrelson).

    For all the grief the Rockpile ever got, and for everything it wasn’t, it sure has a lot of great memories. I’d go back there again for another game if I could.

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