Henry “Hank” Aaron, who signed his first professional baseball contract in Buffalo, sits in the Bisons dugout in 1985 during an Old-Timers game. (Photo courtesy of the Michael J. Billoni Collection)
Sat May 22, 2021 9:25 am
At 7:00 p.m. on Monday, May 24, Michael J. Billoni and James Overfield, publisher and editor of “The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball 1857-2020,” will present a virtual event inspired by Major League Baseball’s December 2020 decision to officially recognize the Negro League clubs as MLB teams – 100 years after their inception. “Talking Baseball Part II:“ Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier ”will be a free virtual event broadcast by Dave & Adams Card World.
Billoni said the event will address a topic that is not often taken into account in public debate.
“When Major League Baseball announced that it would formally recognize the achievements of Negro League teams and players, the significance of this moment in baseball history and our nation could not be denied,” he said. -he declares. “Finally, after a century, the seven Negro leagues of the pre-integration era of baseball (1920-48) will see their statistics and records added to the history and records of Major League Baseball.
“What makes this even more compelling to West New Yorkers is that a lot of these Negro League players are in some way connected to Buffalo Bisons baseball. That’s why Jim and I decided to focus our second “SOBB” “Talking Baseball” virtual event on the teams and players who made history in the Black Leagues and those who make sure those stories are told.
The “The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball” event is free and open to the public, with registration required via this link: https://www.57sobb20.com/. Once the registration form is submitted, a Zoom link will be provided by return email.
This event will be co-hosted by Billoni and John Murphy, Buffalo Bills play-by-play announcer and Buffalo Broadcaster Association Hall of Fame member. Their guest list begins with a star: Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM), located in Kansas City, Missouri.
Hendrick will be joined by Overfield, editor of “The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball”, associate editor Brian Frank, author and founder of “Friends of Buffalo Baseball History” Howard Henry Jr., former Buffalo Bisons pitcher (1988-89) and “Official” unofficial Buffalo Bison national anthem singer Morris Madden, former Buffalo Bisons pitcher (1988-90) Dorn Taylor, Willie “Hutch” Jones Education and sports program chair Willie “Hutch” Jones and Omega Mentorship Program Director Cedric Holloway.
During the broadcast, raffles will be offered for gifts of a $ 25 Dave & Adams Cards gift card and an autographed copy of “The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball” to two lucky participants. For more information, contact Billoni at [email protected].
“The Seasons of Buffalo Baseball” is available at the following stores:
Dave and Adam’s Card World 8075 Sheridan Drive, Williamsville; Made in america stores, 1000 West Maple Court, Elma; 6041 Transit Road, Depew; 3701 McKinley Mall, Hamburg; the BFLO stores, 130 Main St. (in the Explore & More Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Children’s Museum lobby); Eastern Hills, McKinley, Galleria and Boulevard shopping centers; The Buffalo History Museum, A museum courtyard, Buffalo; The bookworm and the BW gifts. 34, rue Elm, Aurore Est; Bases Loaded with sports collectibles, 794 Chemin Français, Cheektowaga; Riverside Men’s Boutique and S&E Jewelers, 6470 Transit Road, Depew; Olde Editions Bookstore & Gallery, 954 Oliver Street, North Tonawanda; Dog Ears Bookstore and Café, 688 Abbott Road, Buffalo; Talking Leaves Bookstore, 951 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo; and Thin ice, 719 Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo. Niagara Frontier Publications 1859 Whitehaven Road, Grand Island, also sells the book, with $ 5 of each sale going to the Joseph M. Overfield Memorial Mentorship Program.
The book can be ordered online at Amazon through the Buffalo Bisons and through the Buffalo News online store.