BUFFALO, N.Y.-When Jim Negrych was growing up what was then called Pilot Field was packed every night and the Buffalo Bills were making four straight trips to the Super Bowl.
Wednesday night Negrych will be playing for the International League in the Triple A All-Star Game in front of a huge crowd at what is now called Coca Cola Field. He's thrilled to be playing in the All-Star Game in his home town. Negrych told the media Tuesday afternoon "At the start of the season I didn't have a team and knowing that the All Star game was here it was a possibility but I had to get on a squad and once I did and started putting up some numbers the light started to get brighter at the end of the tunnel. Its exciting and I'm very happy to be here."
Negrych who played high school baseball at St. Francis is true to his Buffalo roots. He was thrilled to meet Bills Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly at Monday's Home Run Derby. "When you grow up in Buffalo you grow up as a Bills fan first and every other sport kind of plays its way into it so to be able to sit there and talk to Jim Kelly and meet Russ Brandon. Those guys are tremendous people and their presence is felt throughout the entire stadium. Lindy Ruff, I've known Pat (Kaleta), I've known Rob (Gronkowski) a little bit, everybody was just very nice and welcoming and it was a great atmosphere."
Negrych said the first thing he did when he found out he was an All-Star was to call his parents and see how many tickets they would need. He said the Bisons have always been great to him.
Negrych is batting .284 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 54 games for Syracuse, the Triple A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. In June he .383.
Negrych was a late addition to the team but he's here and soaking up the atmosphere. The Triple A All-Star game between the Pacific Coast League and International League gets underway at 7 o'clock Wednesday night.