Last year’s Bisons team involved a high level of talent... maybe not as good as this team but certainly enough to make a splash. Yet they fell apart at the stretch. What would be different about 1997? The difference was in consistency and the fact that the team got hot down the stretch, whereas in 1996, they were hot in the beginning and then died after Independence Day.  A huge part of them getting hot down the stretch had to do with great talent coming up from Akron to replace the great players being promoted to the Majors. A perfect example of this was Sean Casey who hit 19 2B, 10 HR and batted a whopping .386 in Double-A Akron. He was promoted to Buffalo in August and hit 7 2B, 5 HR and batted .361 down the stretch giving the Bisons the electricity that they didn’t have in 1996. Swiping 1st place with an 87-57 (.604) record, Buffalo had tied its best effort to date at the ballpark. The Bisons would have to go against last year’s spoiler, the Indianapolis Indians in the 1st round. Again, they would find themselves tied 2-all after 4 games only to have to play that intense 5th deciding game. David Weathers was called upon to get the job done and kept the Bisons in the game. With two outs and loaded bases in the 4th, Trenidad Hubbard slammed a bench clearing triple, and Weathers held on putting up a 6-2 complete game effort. It was off to Des Moines to take on the Iowa Cubs in the finals. The Cubs were tough… real tough and kept the 1st 2 games within a run, but the Bisons would prevail and went up 2 games to 0. The had done this before against Denver only to lose 3 in a row. This battle would be just as tough as the game went into extra innings tied at 4-4. In the top of the 10th Sean Casey came to bat… and unlike Casey in the "Casey at the Bat" story… this Casey did not strike out with the game on the line… instead he blasted a home run to give the Bisons a 5-4 lead. David Weathers came in keep the Cubs scoreless and finally… finally secure the first every Championship for Coca-Cola Field! Tony Lovullo (.440, 6 RBI) was named the MVP.