Major League Baseball returns to Buffalo, New York, on Tuesday night. The Toronto Blue Jays, essentially kicked out of Canada because the federal government has concerns about all the travel into the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, will play most home games at Buffalo's Sahlen Field this season. The Blue Jays will host the Marlins in Buffalo on Tuesday in the 2020 opener of their temporary home.
"I'm one of the guys who voted to play in Buffalo. Go the old school route and sack up," Tanner Roark told reporters, including TSN's Scott Mitchell and USA Today's Gabe Lacques, during a recent conference call. "We're going to be known as grinders and I love grinders because that's what makes you who you are at the end of your career, or the end of the day.
Sahlen Field has been home to the Buffalo Bisons since opening in 1988. It is the highest capacity minor-league park at 16,600 seats, though fans won't be allowed into the stadium this year. The Bisons modern era began in 1979, when the franchise joined the Double-A Eastern League as a Pirates affiliate. The Bisons moved to Triple-A in 1985 and affiliated with the Blue Jays in 2013.
Long before the Bisons resurfaced in 1979 and long before Robert Redford filmed scenes as Roy Hobbs in "The Natural" at Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo was home to major-league baseball. It's been a very, very long time though. Tuesday's contest will be the first major-league game in Buffalo in 104 years.