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Buffalo baseball fans go the extra mile to catch a glimpse of the big leagues

Posted at 7:52 AM, Aug 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-12 07:52:35-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Long before the first pitch, fans were looking for a piece of the action of the first meaningful major-league game played in Buffalo since 1915.

While the Toronto Blue Jays and Miami Marlins took batting practice, eager fans lined Oak Street behind Sahlen Field's left-field wall and net. Some traveled from New York City and Syracuse for a shot at a home-run ball.

"I saw the layout of the stadium and street, so I figured I might get lucky," said Robert Fernandez. He goes from stadium to stadium to catch baseballs. He's the owner of the first major league batting practice ball to leave Sahlen Field.

Fans are discouraged from trying to watch the game in person. Dozens ignored those recommendations.

"Just being part of it in some little way," said Jeremy Petrus. He brought his family from Lockport. "And feeling the sense of excitement for baseball in Buffalo."

"They love it so much, they just want to see something. That's awesome to me," said Tara Draper.

The Seneca One Tower parking ramp provides some great views from beyond right field. Most of those views are obscured and the roof was blocked off to the public. On the lower levels, fans watched through through three inch cracks.

"It's as close as we can get to Canada, right now," said Matthew Shey moments before the Canadian National Anthem. "Totally unique. Wouldn't miss it for the world. It's just one of those things."

Everyone in the garage was asked to leave.

The reason to block every outside view is to prevent people from gathering. Not everyone appreciates those actions.

"If you're watching from a distance and you're not harming anybody, I don't see any reason to say they can't watch the game," said Collen Roll, a Blue Jays fan from Orchard Park.

The best way to watch the game is on TV or online. If you don't have the right channels, sports bars like, The Union Pub will be showing the games. The Union Pub is right across the street from Sahlen Field.

This is temporary, but pro-sports are back in Buffalo. And sports fans want to be a part of that, even if it means watching through the crack of a parking ramp.