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Buffalo Bisons (NL)

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Ballparks: Riverside Grounds (May 1, 1879-September 8, 1883), Olympic Park I (October 21, 1884-October 7, 1885), Maple Ave. Driving Park, Elmira, NY (October 10, 1885)

The National League Buffalo Bisons began life as an independent team in 1877. Managed first by Elihu Spencer and later Bill Barnie, the team posted a 10-27 record its first year of play. The only high points that season was their first game, a 10-inning scoreless game against Rochester at the local Rhode Island Street Grounds. Despite posting a losing record, the club showed a profit of $490.00, making them the only pro club that year to actually turn a profit, at least according to contemporary sources. The following year found the team one of 28 members of the International Association. Under the guidance of George L. Smith, the team posted a 24-8 record and won its first and only International Association pennant. Almost two months after the season ended, the Bisons successfully applied for membership in the National League.

The Bisons spent seven seasons in the National League, starting in 1879, finishing as high as third place four times, with their best season in 1884 with a 64-47-4 record. During the team's last season in the National League, the Detroit Wolverines attempted to buy the Bisons' Big Four (Dan Brouthers, Hardy Richardson, Jack Rowe and Deacon White). Initially the deal was ruled illegal by League President Nick Young, but at a league meeting that November, the deal was allowed for the 1886 season and the Bisons were dropped from the league, nbever to return.

The name "Bisons" continued to be used by the city's teams after that, however. See also Buffalo Bisons.

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