It was 2 PM when we left Erie, Pennsylvania. We headed first to Niagara Falls, New York to check in to a motel, and then we backtracked a few miles to Buffalo, New York to see a 7 PM ballgame.
We checked in at the Best Western in Niagara Falls, we got about an hour of rest, and we drove back to Buffalo to see a ballgame at Coca-Cola Park.
If you forget your place and ask for a Pepsi at the concession stand in Coca-Cola Park in Buffalo, they will correct you very quickly and serve you a Coke. Yes, I am the voice of experience.
The Buffalo Bisons were hosting the Gwinnett Braves (formerly the Richmond Braves). This is the Braves first season in Gwinnett GA. They moved out of Richmond, Virginia because they were extremely displeased with the ancient ballpark and facilities there.
Buffalo and Gwinnett are in the International League, class AAA level. That’s the level immediately below the major league level. Most teams have their young up-and-coming top prospects at level AA and they keep some older and experienced players at AAA to be ready for short term quick-fix emergency service in the majors.
At the AAA level you see many thirtysomething players that have bounced back and forth between the majors and AAA for years. I find class A and AA much more enjoyable. I’d rather watch up and coming 22 year old players that have real potential than to watch a bunch of 28 to 33 year old players who are on the down slope of their careers.
The competitive phase of this game was over long before darkness fell. Gwinnett scored early and often. Buffalo looked slow, old, and untalented. To be frank, the game was dull. The final score was Gwinnett 9, Buffalo 1. Box Score
I grabbed a foul ball in the 3rd inning. It was lined into the section of seats to our right and came to rest against the back of a seat. There was almost nobody at this game, so all I had to do was walk over and pick it up. Normally I’d give it to a kid instead of keeping it, but the only 2 kids within binocular range of our seats grabbed their own foul balls. So I kept my baseball.
After the game we drove back to our motel in Niagara Falls and got some sleep. We’d see the falls in the morning.