Karl R. Josker
http://www.pbase.com/kjosker


"Buffalo's last International League game was played against Tidewater on June 4, 1970. The team started the game as the Buffalo Bisons and finished it as the Montreal Bisons. It was a 7-4 loss and left the team at 9-29, six and one half games out of seventh place. Buffalo was now without professional baseball for the first time since 1876. Going down in flames with the Bisons was General Manager Don Labbruzzo. His personal losses were heavy. He had used his own funds and borrowed on his life insurance to pay the bills. He also lost the equity in his home, when the Internal Revenue Service slapped a lien against him ("as responsible officer") for unpaid federal taxes. The relocated team finished the season in seventh place, posting a 52-88 record. The Expos (nee Bisons) played one more year in Western Canada, and then were moved to Hampton and Newport News, Va. (also called War Memorial Stadium), and became known as the Peninsula Pilots. Peninsula was replaced by Memphis in 1974, which, in turn, was replaced by Columbus in 1977. So, it can be said that the present, highly successful Columbus Clippers trace their lineage to the ill-fated Bisons of 1970. After the meeting in New York at which the fate of the Bisons and Don Labbruzzo was sealed, a heart-warming incident occurred. John McHale, a former Bison player and president of the Montreal Expos, who were to take over the Buffalo franchise, called Labbruzzo aside and handed him an envelope, with instructions to open it later. When he opened it, he found it contained an Expo check in the amount of $5,000, payable to him. It was marked "scouting expense." Don had never scouted in his life." *Buffalo Bisons.