Hall of Fame day in Buffalo
The Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame announced today that former Buffalo Bisons INF RICHIE SEXSON and long-time Bisons broadcaster DUKE McGUIRE have been elected as the 80th and 81st members of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame.
Sexson was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 24th round of the 1993 amateur draft and played parts of two seasons with the Buffalo Bisons. The 6′ 6″ first baseman hit 31 home runs -second most in a single season in the Bisons’ Modern Era- and drove in 88 in 115 games with the Herd in 1997 to help the club earn an American Association Championship. He led the A.A. with the 31 home runs and was also a mid and post season league All-Star.
In 1998, Sexson hit 21 more home runs with 74RBI in 89 games with the club before spending the rest of the season with Cleveland. Despite playing just a little over a season and a half in Buffalo, Sexson’s 52 home runs rank as the 5th most for a Bison player in the Modern Era.
Sexson went on to play in parts of 12 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Indians, Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks, Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees. He hit 306 big league home runs and collected 943RBI in 1,367 career games. He was a National League All-Star with the Brewers in 2002 and 2003 and ranked in the top six in home runs in his league on three different occasions. He hit 30 or more home runs in a season five times, including a career-high 45 with Milwaukee in 2001 and again in 2003. Six times, Sexson reached 100+ RBI in a season.
McGuire has been part of the Bisons organization for 32 seasons, most notably as a member of the Herd’s broadcasting team since 1991. On the air, McGuire has worked alongside fellow Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Pete Weber, as well as announcers Jim Rosenhaus and Ben Wagner. His career with the Bisons began in 1979 when he was hired as a Director of Public Relations and Marketing. From 1981-1995, he was the team’s public address announcer and since 1985 has been instrumental in the team’s youth baseball efforts, including the Pitch, Hit and Run competition.
A native of Snyder, NY, McGuire was drafted out of high school by the Mets in 1970. He was then drafted again by the Pirates in 1972 before being selected by the Tigers in the first round of the second phase of the 1972 Draft. He played for then-manager Jim Leyland at Clinton in the Midwest League during the 1973 season. A few seasons later, McGuire was named Most Valuable Player of the 1978 Niagara Falls Pirates, for whom he served as a player-manager.
The Bisons Hall of Fame Day ceremonies will also include the induction of former Bisons OF FRANK CARSWELL and former Newark OF BOB SEEDS into the International League Hall of Fame. IL President Randy Mobley will present the league’s “Curtain Call” statue to descendents of both Carswell and Seeds.
Carswell played in five seasons with the Bisons, amassing a .323 career batting average with 125 doubles, five triples, 78 home runs and 342RBI in 501 games with the Herd. He won the IL batting championship with a .344 average in 1952. He also led the circuit with 30 homers that year, falling 12RBI shy of the IL’s triple crown (101RBI). After playing just one game with Buffalo in 1946, he hit .300 and averaged 20 homers and 86RBI in four straight seasons form 1951-1954. Carswell is still among the Bisons top ten producers of home runs (6th), RBI (9th) and doubles (10th) in the team’s 124-year history.
Carswell also managed in the IL for five seasons from 1963-1966 (Syracuse) and in 1970 (Toledo). He made the playoffs three years with Syracuse and finished his career with a record of 347-391 (.470). Carswell died on October 21, 1998 in Houston, TX at the age of 78.
Seeds played six seasons in the International League from 1935-1942, spending two years each at Montreal, Newark and Baltimore. He hit .305 (690-2,263) with 71 home runs and 407RBI in 604 total games and helped the Newark Bears to back-to-back Governors’ Cup Championships in 1937 and 1938.
It was in Buffalo where Seeds put together maybe the greatest two-game stretch in the history of the International League. On May 6, 1938, Seeds went 6-6 with four home runs against the Bisons at Offermann Stadium. The next day, Seeds hits three more homers against Buffalo, completing the two-game stretch at 9-10 with seven home runs and 17RBI. For his efforts, he was given the key to the City of Buffalo.
Known as ‘Suitcase Bob,’ Seeds was a journeyman ballplayer with 14 different teams across nine leagues during his 21-year playing career. His Major League tenure included stints with the Indians, White Sox, Red Sox, Yankees and Giants.