Wendel: My first game, at War Memorial Stadium

From SABR member Tim Wendel at The National Pastime Museum on October 6, 2014:

War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo, New York, was rarely mistaken for a baseball cathedral. After all, most fans called it the “Rockpile.” Yet, that’s where I saw my first baseball game (I was either 11 or 12 years old), and it’s where I first fell in love with the sport.

Originally a WPA project, the Rockpile opened on the corner of Jefferson and Best streets, east of downtown, in 1938. Despite having less than 50,000 seats and oval dimensions similar to the Los Angeles Coliseum and Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the Rockpile eventually became home to the football Bills and the baseball Bisons.

The Bisons were in the International League in the late 1960s when my grandfather regularly took my younger brother, Chris, and me to games there. From the box seats behind the visiting dugouts, we were close enough to the action to hear the players talking. And we were certainly close enough for them to hear us, too.

Back in those days, the rival Syracuse Chiefs had a diminutive second baseman that scampered around like a rodent. One Sunday afternoon, after he ducked back into the visiting dugout, our section began to chant “Weasel” in his honor. Sure enough, he soon poked his head out of the dugout to see what was going on, causing the hometown fans to break into laughter.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/my-first-game-war-memorial-stadium

Originally published: October 6, 2014. Last Updated: October 6, 2014.