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42°54′54″N 78°51′43″W / 42.915114, -78.862009 Offermann Stadium was a stadium in Buffalo, New York. It was primarily used for baseball and was the home of Buffalo Bisons of the International League. The ballpark had a capacity of 14,000 people and opened in 1924. It was located on the block bounded by East Ferry Street (north, third base), Masten Avenue (east, left field), Woodlawn Avenue (south, right field) and Michigan Avenue (west, first base).

HistoryEdit

After the lease ran out on Olympic Park after the conclusion of the 1888 season, Buffalo Baseball Park was built at East Ferry and Michigan Avenue[1][2]. It was a wooden structure which opened for professional baseball in 1889, serving the high-minor league club's needs for well over three decades. For 1924, a new steel-and-concrete structure was built on the site. It was initially called Bison Stadium, and was renamed in memory of owner Frank J. Offermann in 1935 following his death.

According to one source, this park was the site of the first high-minor league night game, on July 3, 1930, a year in which many minor league teams resorted to lights during the heat of summer as a means of boosting attendance as the Great Depression began to take effect (the majors would not begin using lights until 1935).

The ballpark had fairly cozy dimensions. It was on a rectangular block, with the diamond tilted somewhat counterclockwise relative to the streets. Left field was 321 feet, left center 345, center 400, right center 365, right field line 297. Also, it was reportedly only 33 feet to the backstop. This added up to a hitters park, and several sluggers took advantage, especially Luke Easter, who in the mid-1950s led the International League in home runs despite being over 40 years old. Earlier, in May 1938, the much-traveled Bob "Suitcase" Seeds had hit 7 home runs in two days here.

The ballpark went out with a bang and a whimper in 1960, its final season, as the Bisons made it to the Junior World Series but lost the final game, at home. The next year, they moved about ten blocks straight south on Masten to take up shop at War Memorial Stadium.

Thus the "permanent" version of the ballpark lasted 36 seasons, whereas the "temporary" wooden version had survived for 35. The stadium was eventually demolished and in 1962, Woodlawn Junior High School (eventually renamed Buffalo Traditional School) opened on the site's grounds. In 2008, the site will become the new home of the Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts school. In the spring of 2012, a historical plaque will be dedicated at the site in remembrance of over 71 years of baseball played on the grounds. Local Buffalo sports historian John Boutet spearheaded the project and raised the funds through the facebook group Buffalo Sports Museum, the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and the Buffalo Bisons.

Preceded by
Buffalo Baseball Park
Home of the
Buffalo Bisons

1924-1960
Succeeded by
War Memorial Stadium

SourcesEdit

  1. Buffalo Bisons History bisons.com accessed 19-APR-2008
  2. When Baseball came to Richmond Avenue richomndavenue.org accessed 19-APR-2008
  • Ballparks of North America, by Michael Benson, McFarland, 1989
  • Lost Ballparks, by Lawrence S. Ritter, Penguin, 1992

This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Offermann Stadium.
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