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Mets relocate Triple-A team from New Orleans to Buffalo

9/22/2008 - New York Mets

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The New York Mets are hooking back up with
an old friend.

The Mets signed a two-year player development contract with the
Buffalo Bisons on Monday, 45 years after the Bisons became New
York's original Triple-A affiliate. New York broke ties with the
New Orleans Zephyrs after just two years, paving the way for their
deal with Buffalo.

The agreement was announced at the Bisons' downtown ballpark,
with New York state Gov. David Paterson joining Mets chief
operating officer Jeff Wilpon and general manager Omar Minaya.

"We're proud to be back in our home state, and we look forward
to a long and fruitful relationship," Wilpon said. "We look to be
here for a very, very long time."

The Mets shared their top minor league team in Syracuse with the
Washington Senators in their inaugural season in 1962 before the
Bisons became the Triple-A affiliate for three years starting in
1963.

The Bisons affiliated with the Cleveland Indians starting in
1995, but that relationship ended when the Indians recently signed
a four-year deal with the Columbus Clippers.

"Of all the organizations, I don't know of one that is more
baseball-oriented than the Mets," Bisons president and owner Bob
Rich Jr. said. "We're thrilled to be a part of [their] team, and
we're looking forward to Buffalo being a part of that legacy."

The Mets will now have three of their minor league affiliates
located in New York, with the Bisons joining Binghamton (AA) and
Brooklyn (A).

Wilpon also presented a $25,000 check to the Buffalo Public High
School Baseball program, which helps to revive the game in the
inner city.