Sunday, September 9, 2012

Thank You

Last Sunday the Buffalo Bisons played what was likely there last game as a Mets affiliate.  They lost 6-0.

Buffalo's affiliation with the Mets was one marred by the struggles of the big league team.  The Mets constantly had to shuttle players back and forth due to injuries and ineffectiveness, leaving the Bisons roster perpetually depleted.  The new regime in the front office also came too late for the newly drafted talent to reach Buffalo.  Zack Wheeler and Matt Harvey spent time there, R.A. Dickey did too.  But it was seemingly too little too late.

The Bisons most productive offensive players were the likes of Josh Satin, Valentino Pascucci, and Zach Lutz, with Fred Lewis contributing this year too.  None of them are expected to be impact players for the Mets.  They missed Wilmer Flores by a season and Brandon Nimmo and Gavin Cecchini are still a ways away.

However, despite the disappointing results this team gave me what is very possibly my favorite memory.  The 2010 B-Mets captured my attention and by 2011 they were all Bisons.  I watched Mike Nickeas, Zach Lutz, Josh Satin, and Kirk Nieuwenhuis make it all the way to the big leagues.  I saw them all get their first MLB hit and then they all went back to the Bisons.  The demotions were disappointing but they proved worth it, as Nickeas, Lutz, and Satin all proved they could still play well (and I'm sure Nieuwenhuis would have too had he not gotten hurt).  The demotions were also the reason I had the best day of my life.

At Fenway Park on September 18, 2012, I was closer to my favorite team than I ever think I will be again.  The Bisons were all class acts as I finally got to know when I met Zach Lutz, Josh Satin, Robert Carson, and Dylan Owen for the first time and Mike Nickeas for like the eighth time.  Every single player asked would sign for every fan that wanted an autograph.  They interacted with everybody and gave fans who might not be able to go to another minor league game a great memory.

I know one of the main reasons the Mets won't be with the Bisons is because of attendance.  I also know that even though I didn't buy I ticket and go to every game I still followed as much as humanly possible.  Just because this fan wasn't in a seat, it doesn't mean she wasn't dedicated.  I guess it's too bad that long-distance dedication doesn't bring in revenue.

This season it really felt more like the Bisons were my favorite team than the Mets and it takes a special group of players (and people) to make that happen.

Thank you, Buffalo Bisons, for four years of baseball and memories I will always cherish.  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to fall in love with the nicest baseball players on the face of the earth.  Thank you for allowing me to see the promise in the future of the Mets organization through the players that aren't necessarily prospects.

A picture is supposedly worth a thousand words but this is priceless.

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