Buffalo in the ’20s: Lacrosse at Buffalo’s Baseball Park

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

From 1889 to 1960, the International League Buffalo Bisons played at East Ferry, Masten and Michigan.

For the first 35 years, Buffalo Baseball Park was barely more than glorified wooden bleachers. But under the direction of team owner and Erie County Sheriff Frank Offermann, Bison Stadium opened in 1924. The park was renamed in Offermann’s memory when he died unexpectedly at the age of 59.

The city owned Offermann Stadium, and in 1960, the land was reclaimed to build Woodlawn Junior High, which today is Buffalo Academy of Visual and Performing Arts.

As a city-owned facility, Offermann Stadium and its predecessors were open to far more than just baseball. This 1920s photo shows a lacrosse game, and outfield ads for, among other items, Buffalo-brewed Phoenix Beer.

Buffalo News archives

The extreme right side shows some players standing behind the play, an outfield ad for baseball tickets, and several homes — including one with a distinctive turret.

While sports fans no longer look at the house, it doesn’t look much different 90 years later for students staring out one of the Woodlawn Avenue windows at Performing Arts.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. writing about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV, climbing his way to news director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor, produced PBS documentaries, and even run for Erie County Clerk. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.