Coca-Cola Field

aka Pilot Field
Dunn Tire Park
North Americare Pk
Downtown Ballpark

Buffalo New York

Home of the
Buffalo Bison

International League
(Triple-A)
The Bisons chances of winning a second straight American Association Championship were impossible… literally. The American Association was dissolved in 1997 and the teams were disbursed to the Pacific Coast League and to the International League (which the Bisons were assigned to). Leading the charge in the new league was Alex Ramirez (who had hit 11 HR for the 1996 team). Ramirez turned into a monster slamming a record 34 HR (taking Richie Sexson’s 32 HR tally) and a record 103 RBI (beating Brian Dorsett’s 102) while batting .299. Right behind him was Phil Hiatt who hit 31 HR of his own while batting .247. For the first time ever, the Bisons had 2 30 HR hitters, but they nearly had 4! Richie Sexson was still with the team early on and hit 20 2B, 21 HR with 74 RBI and batted .297 but only played in 89 games with 334 At Bats. Sexson was easily on his way to another 30 HR year had he continued to play for the Bisons. The same thing could be said for Jeff Manto who had only 209 At Bats before being recalled and hit 23 HR and batted .311. Had he gotten the full 500 At Bats, he would have broken every Bisons record as he was on his way to hitting 55 HRs at the pace he was going. 1997’s post season MVP Tony Lovullo returned to Buffalo to bat .326 with 17 2B and 17 HR,. Jolbert Cabrera hit 24 2B, 10 HR and batted .318. Catcher Einer Diaz batted .313 with 21 2B and 8 HR and Jacob Cruz hit .331 with 14 HR in only 169 At Bats. It seemed like every player in the lineup was either hitting 20+ HRs or batting over .300. The Bisons would hit a total of 202 HR for the season… their best effort in history. On the mound, the great hitting was slowed by a lack of quality pitching. Jason Jacome was powerful in the roll of ace putting forth a terrific 14-2, 3.26 record, but the talents seemed to end there. Because of this the Bisons were 3 games under .500 as of  June 14th.