Led by team owners Bob and Mindy Rich, the Buffalo Bisons have extended their adoption of the City of Buffalo High School Baseball Program for a fourth season in 2010. The adoption will include 14 high schools –with the recent additions of Buffalo Early Middle College and Vocational and Performing Arts High School- and the continuation of the “Junior Bisons” summer team.
The Rich Foundation and the Buffalo Bisons officially adopted the City of Buffalo High School Baseball Program in April of 2007 as a commitment to assist in the revival and development of the city’s high school program. In the four years since, the Bisons have facilitated and assisted in the funding of the renovation of Johnnie B. Wiley Stadium, provided stipends for each school to hire assistant coaches and purchased extensive baseball equipment for schools that lacked even basic supplies.
The Bisons have also invited teams to use the faculties located at Coca-Cola Field, including the team’s indoor batting cages. Each year, the Bisons coaches and players have held one-day clinics for both the coaches and players of Buffalo high school teams.
One of the highlights of this adoption is the Junior Bisons. Each year, around 18 players are selected from the 14 Buffalo public high schools for a team that competes in the scholastic division of the CEBA -the County of Erie Baseball Association. The team has made the post season in each of the past two seasons. Two former Junior Bisons are currently playing baseball at the collegiate level.
With the growing interest this adoption has created, the Bisons have also found it necessary to be active in Buffalo middle schools as well. In 2008, the Bisons assisted in the forming of the Buffalo Middle School Developmental Fall Baseball Program where three to four teams (60 total students) are formed from area seventh and eighth grade students. The season is run at no-cost to the players and is the first of its kind in the city of Buffalo. This league focuses on skill development, sportsmanship and team building.