Ernie Young was one of the top run producers on the Buffalo Bisons’ last championship team.
Dave Roberts played parts of four seasons with the Herd before going on to a 10-year Major League Baseball career that included the famous steal in the 2004 American League Championship Series for the Boston Red Sox.
Mike Harrington has covered three Buffalo Bisons championship teams in his 20 years as the baseball beat reporter for The Buffalo News.
All three will join the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame.
The Class of 2013 was officially announced on Tuesday and they will be inducted in a pregame ceremony on July 19 when the Bisons host the Toledo Mud Hens.
“It’s a great class that covers someone like Mike who has been around the team for 25 years,” said Bisons general manager Mike Buczkowski. “You have a player like Ernie Young who played on a championship team and then go a little further back with David Roberts who was very exciting when he played here and went on to steal one of the most famous bases in baseball.”
Young drove in 100 runs for the Bisons in 2004, powering one of the best offensive clubs of the team’s modern era to the International League Governors’ Cup Championship.
He batted .289 with 47 home runs, 89 extra-base hits while driving in 178 runs over two seasons (2004-05).
Roberts played parts of four seasons with the Herd from 1998-2001. In both 1999 and 2000 he stole 39 bases. He added 17 more stolen bases in 2001 and holds the club’s modern era record for stolen bases with 97.
His most famous steal came with the Boston Red Sox as they faced elimination in Game Four of the ALCS against the New York Yankees. Trailing by a run in the ninth inning, Kevin Millar drew a walk and Roberts went in to pinch run. He then stole second base and on a single from Bill Mueller scored the game-tying run. The Red Sox eventually won that game in 12 innings, then went on to capture their first World Series title since 1918.
Harrington began working at The Buffalo News in 1987 and has regularly covered the Bisons since they moved to the downtown ballpark 26 years ago. The Amherst native became the Bisons beat reporter in 1993 and debuted the Sunday column “Inside Baseball” in 2004.
He covered the Herd’s championships in 1997, 1998 and 2004. A member of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, he has covered every World Series since 2000.
“What makes it fun is hearing the committee members talk about candidates and players and even potential candidates down the road,” Buczkowski said. “That’s fun – to be part of talking about baseball. It jogs your memory and takes you down memory lane.”
While it’s part memory lane, it also creates another level of awareness of the history and tradition the Bisons organization has played in baseball to a new generation of fans.
“Part of our message to people is that they can come and see these guys, not just the guys down on rehab, but guys on their way,” Buczkowski said. “You get to see the Brandon Phillips’ of the world and the Matt Harveys. Some of these guys turn out to be mega Major League stars. Guys like David go on to do something incredibly famous in Red Sox history. This is way for us to celebrate our past traditions.”
The Class of 2013 brings the total membership of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame to 86 after being established in 1985. Hall of Fame committee members nominate names for induction on the preliminary ballot. Finalists are selected by a secret ballot with three-quarters of the vote of the committee required for induction.