Niagara Gazette — BUFFALO — He’s a familiar face to his new peers within the Buffalo Bisons organization, having led some of the Class AAA baseball team’s International League rivals over the years.
More importantly for the Bisons, Gary Allenson will be a familiar face to some of the young Toronto Blue Jays prospects that are strong candidates to settle in Buffalo for further development this season.
Allenson was named the Herd’s new manager earlier this week but was formally unveiled Thursday morning, first to media in a news conference and then to guests attending the team’s annual Hot Stove Luncheon in the Adam’s Mark Hotel in downtown Buffalo.
“He brings a wealth of experience to us, which we know will be an asset for us,” said Bisons vice president and general manager Mike Buczkowski. “The Triple-A manager’s job could be the hardest job that you have in baseball.”
Allenson is entering his 20th season as a manager in minor league baseball. His managerial career began in 1987 with the Oneonta Yankees of the New York Penn League. He led the “O-Yanks” to a league title in 1988. His former managerial jobs also include eight seasons in the International League, first with Louisville from 1998 to 1999, Ottawa in 2003 and Norfolk from 2007 to 2011.
In between those jobs, he also served as a coach for three major league teams: the Boston Red Sox, Milwaukee Brewers and Baltimore Orioles.
Allenson joins the Bisons following a season as the manager for the Blue Jays’ Class AA team, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League. It was there he worked with two players who are considered candidates to appear in a Bisons uniform this season, pitchers Marcus Stroman and Sean Nolin.
“Marcus Stroman’s got a really good arm,” Allenson said. “(The ball) comes out of his hands really nice and easy. And it’s quick. He’s got really good composure, he’s got a nice slider...”