Rescued from baseballís nowhere land, outfielder Fred Lewis put up big numbers after joining the Buffalo Bisons as a free agent on April 26. The team leader in several offensive categories, the 31-year-old Lewis was named the winner of the teamís Stan Barron Most Valuable Player Award in pregame ceremonies Tuesday in Coca-Cola Field.
Lewis entered play Tuesday as the team leader in average (.290), runs (75), doubles (25), triples (7), stolen bases (24), slugging (.469) and OPS (.843). He was second in hits (117) and was the only Buffalo batter this year honored as International League Player of the Week. Lewis has big-league time with San Francisco, Cincinnati and Toronto and was released April 2 by Cleveland
The Warren Spahn Most Valuable Pitcher Award went to Matt Harvey, who was 7-5 with 112 strikeouts and earned a Star of Stars Award at the Triple-A All-Star Game before heading to New York.
The Joe De Sa Most Inspirational Player went to pitcher Jeff Stevens (1-1, 3.15 in 32 games here despite bouncing back and forth to Double-A) and the Judge Michael Dillon Comeback Player Award went to reliever Elvin Ramirez, who did not pitch last year due to a shoulder injury but is 3-1, 2.27 in 31 games this year.
Reliever Justin Hampson received the Jimmy Griffin Hometown Hero Award for performance downtown (3-0, 1.58 in 26 games) while Matt Tuiasosopo and Garrett Olson shared the Fremo Vallone Community Service Award. The Joe Byron Fan of the Year Award went to Section 111 season ticket-holder Pam Asarese, who has had her tickets since the park opened in 1988 and was a founding member of the Bisons Booster Club in 1985.
The booster club also handed out its awards, with Josh Satin earning the nod as Favorite Player, Jeurys Familia getting Favorite Pitcher and Tuiasosopo earning the Unsung Hero award. The boosters also presented manager Wally Backman a framed mosaic of Coca-Cola Field produced by local artist Brian Nesline in honor of the late Mayor Griffin.
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The International League announced its postseason all-stars Tuesday and there were no Bisons on the list. Pawtucket third baseman Mauro Gomez, now with Boston, was named the leagueís Most Valuable Player. Lehigh Valleyís Tyler Cloyd, who is 12-1 and was the IL starter in the Triple-A All-Star Game here last month, was named the Most Valuable Pitcher and Gwinnett first baseman Ernesto Mejia was named Rookie of the Year.
The Manager of the Year was veteran Scranton/Wilkes-Barre skipper Dave Miley, who has his team on the cusp of an improbable North Division title in a season in which the Yankees are playing all of their games on the road. Scrantonís ďhomeĒ playoff games will be in Rochesterís Frontier Field, where it posted a 26-20 record this year while playing the bulk of its home schedule.
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The Bisons are off today and then start their final road trip Thursday at 7 in Rochester.
Familia (8-9, 4.78) will make his IL-high 28th and final start of the season.