BUFFALO -- A new era of Buffalo Bisons Baseball began today as the team signed a two-year player development contract with the New York Mets. This partnership aligns the Bisons with one of the elite franchises in all of Major League Baseball. Under this agreement, the Buffalo Bisons will be the New York Mets' Triple-A affiliate for the 2009 and 2010 seasons. "We, as an organization and as part of the Western New York baseball community, could not be happier today as we forge this new partnership with the New York Mets," said Bob Rich Jr., President and owner of the Buffalo Bisons. "The Mets are one of the most highly recognizable franchises in all of sports and have a well-established tradition of winning and excellence, which makes them a perfect fit for the Buffalo Bisons. "The Bisons recognize the importance of having a strong major league partner and feel that this new connection with an in-state team will provide our fans with many seasons of great baseball." New York Mets' Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon, Executive Vice President/General Manager Omar Minaya and Director of Minor League Operations Adam Wogan joined Bob and Mindy Rich to make today's announcement at Dunn Tire Park. "We look forward to being in Buffalo as an organization and in the community and working with the Rich family as home base for our top minor league team," said Wilpon. "Their commitment to innovation has earned them the well-deserved reputation for management excellence and providing the finest fan experience in the minor leagues. We thank Governor David Paterson and Senior Senator from the State of New York Chuck Schumer for their support and help in bringing our Triple-A team to our home state." "I am sorry I could not be with you today. I look forward to a long relationship between the citizens of New York, the Mets and the Bisons," said Schumer. "I'm thrilled that the Buffalo Bisons and the New York Mets have agreed to an affiliation that brings together two great baseball organizations with strong histories," said Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown. "This is very exciting news for baseball fans and all residents of Buffalo and I thank Bob and Mindy Rich, along with Jon Dandes and the entire Bisons management team, for making this commitment to professional baseball in our city." "Moving our Triple-A operations to Buffalo geographically brings together a major portion of our player development efforts," said Minaya. "Buffalo has an unbeatable combination of a top notch facility along with proximity to our organization's homebase in New York City in addition to two of our other minor league affiliates in New York State." "Being in Buffalo simplifies and expedites baseball operations travel, based on the frequency of flights between Buffalo, New York City, and other Major League cities for our players, coaches and scouts," said Wogan. This is the second time in the 124-year history of the Buffalo Bisons that the team has partnered with the New York Mets. The Bisons were the Mets' affiliate in the International League for three seasons, 1963-1965. The 1964 Bisons went 80-69 and qualified for the IL playoffs.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.