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Some surprises at today’s Bisons presser

Today was the day that the Bisons unveiled their new logo for the 2013 season, which will be the first as the AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. Also in town to be given the formal introduction was the new manager, Marty Brown, who returns for his second stint with the Bisons, having managed here from 2003-2005 and leading the team to its 6th Governors Cup championship in 2004.

But there were a couple other surprises at the event today. Making the trip from Toronto was Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos, who brought with him the newest Jays skipper, John Gibbons. Gibbons was just announced as the new field manager in Toronto, and will be making his second tour of duty leading the Jays, having been their manager between the 2005 and 2008 seasons. Both gentlemen made it here after hosting their own press conference up in Toronto earlier in the day.

The biggest surprise, however, was the announcement of the signing of Western New York native Jim Negrych to a minor league contract. Negrych is an infielder who has spent time at the AAA level with the Indianapolis Indians and Syracuse Chiefs. He appeared with the International League squad in this year’s AAA All Star Game which took place in Buffalo. “Sure it’s like a dream come true to be able to come to Buffalo and play for the home team,” said Negrych. “Although it’s the goal of every player to make it to the top level and that certainly is my goal, to make it to the Blue Jays and be able to compete. If I do end up here in Buffalo then that is by far the second best thing.” Negrych graduated from St. Francis High School in 2003, where he was a baseball standout, and admitted that he attended Bisons games as a fan from as early as he could remember.

The Bisons will unveil their uniform designs at their Hot Stove event in January. New logo merchandise is available at the team’s gift shop at Coca Cola Field, and will also hold a “Cyber Monday” sale all of next week, offering a $10 discount on any purchase of $40 or more. Also on sale are several “Holiday Packs” of gift packages which include Opening Day tickets, flex tickets, and other goodies along with a special holiday ornament.

Watch this week’s print edition of Artvoice for a special edition of “Play Ball” and more on manager Marty Brown.

follow Andrew Kulyk on Twitter at @akulykUSRT