By: Nina Samone
July 4th was a festive day for the nation, but a very special day at Sahlen Field – where local WWII veteran Roy Kinyon threw the first ceremonial pitch.
The 100-year-old veteran signed a special one-day contract with the Buffalo Bisons for the 4th of July holiday. “I always wanted to be a baseball player,” Kinyon said. “You never know, this makes up for it.”
Kinyon had the chance to play with the Bisons 80 years ago, but at the time he decided to serve our country instead – all the way back in 1942.
Shortly after being invited to tryout, Kinyon left to serve on the front lines during World War Two, but his passion for America’s favorite pastime never faded away.
After coaching his son’s baseball teams, little league teams and always wanting to play catch and share the joy of baseball, Kinyon’s son Gary wanted to repay the favor.
Kinyon’s son reached out to the Bison’s to see if they would be interested in having the veteran throw the first pitch – and they loved the idea.
Thousands spent their holiday at Sahlen Field to celebrate the holiday with baseball and fireworks as the Bisons played the Syracuse Mets – the first time in nearly three years the stands were full on July 4th.
“The feel of actually being at the stadium verses watching it on tv, there’s just a different energy,” said Jeremy Bastian, who travelled from Syracuse to watch the game. “There’s just a different energy. Different excitement to it.”
The Buffalo Bisons will take on Syracuse again July 6th.
Minkewicz, Sarah. July 4th, 2022. WIVB 4. “100 year-old WWII vet throws the first ceremonial pitch at the Bisons game.” <https://www.wivb.com/sports/buffalo-bisons-sports/100-year-old-wwii-vet-throws-the-first-ceremonial-pitch-at-the-bisons-game/>
Person, Yoselin. July 3rd, 2022. Buffalo WKBW. “A 100-year-old veteran will soon make a strike at the Bisons game on July 4th.” <https://www.wkbw.com/news/local-news/a-100-year-old-veteran-will-soon-make-a-strike-at-the-bisons-game-on-july-4th>