The Bison Have Landed

Lani Sneed

Abilene Reporter-News – Originally published Jan 23, 2024

Abilene’s new minor league baseball team welcomed the community to their first annual Bison Bash event on Saturday, Jan. 20.

Hosted at the DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown Abilene, the event included presentations from team officials, the opportunity to purchase team merchandise like caps and shirts, giveaways and a free meal and drink bar.

Attendees heard from the Flying Bison’s general manager John Stark, field manager Cam Vega, marketing director Cat Duguay and Mid-America League President Matt Perry.

‘Big Leaps & Strides’

The team’s leading man and field manager Cam Vega is not foreign to the high-pressure situations that come with his position.

Since being hired as manager for the Abilene Flying Bison, he has utilized his network in the coaching world to recruit collegiate star athletes.

“I’m trying to use my all the connections that I’ve had in the past to recruit the best guys for this team that are still available,” he said. “We’ve actually had some big leaps and strides.”

With a goal of having 32 players on the roster, Vega stated the team has recruited around 25 members.

Perry said in his address to the crowd to expect “high-caliber kids” on the field and is excited to see the development of the team throughout the summer.

‘It starts with the fans’

“I think the city of Abilene is a perfect location for our team because of the support from the fans. Our goal is to make this [experience] as fan friendly as possible and make Abilene one of the toughest places to play in the Mid-America League,” Vega said.

Throughout this new journey, the coach encourages feedback from the fans and hopes they come along for the ups and downs.

“I’m just so excited to look out and see the crowd, see the families, kids and how excited y’all are about what’s happening here in Abilene,” Perry said to the audience. “I’m just enthralled by seeing how you guys care enough to show up and be a part of what’s going on. It’s being done right here.”

Season details

The Flying Bison will kick off the season in May with a scheduled 34 home games at McMurry University’s Walt Driggers Field.

When asked about weather and heat concerns for the summer, Scott Kirk, President of the Abilene Flying Bison, commented that games will start around 7:30 p.m., so the summer heat will hopefully subside as the sun sets and guests will have shade over the fan seating.

Previous announcements

In October 2023, the Mid-America League announced Abilene as one of the league’s home cities for the newly established baseball minor league franchise.

Dedicated to involving the people of Abilene in the process of creating the team, the community voted on the team’s name. Abilene’s team name was announced in December 2023 as the Flying Bison.