BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The 2023 World Series between the Texas Rangers and the Arizona Diamondbacks gets underway on Friday night.
No matter who wins, members of both teams have connections to Western New York.
Jonah Heim, catcher: The only player in the World Series to be from Western New York, he spent a year at Kenmore East High School before spending the majority of his high school career at Amherst High School. He was drafted out of Amherst by the Baltimore Orioles in 2013 and made his major league debut in 2020. He was named to his first All-Star team this season and hit two home runs in the ALCS. He becomes the first WNYer to appear in the World Series since Kevin Siegrist with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013.
Tony Beasley, third base coach: A Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand in his playing days, Beasley spent 30 games with the Buffalo Bisons in 1993. He has been on the Rangers’ coaching staff since 2015 and had a 48-game stint as the team’s interim manager in 2022.
Chris Young, general manager: While with the New York Mets, Young made a rehab start with the Bisons in 2012. He threw six shutout innings against the Columbus Clippers at what is now Sahlen Field, but Buffalo lost the game 3-0. He has been the GM in Texas since December 2020.
Torey Lovullo, manager: A beloved former Buffalo Bison, he spent time with the franchise as both a player and a manager. Lovullo played 321 games for Buffalo when the team was affiliated with Cleveland in 1995, 1997 and 1998 and hit .268 with 45 home runs and 166 RBI. He returned to the team to serve as its manager for three years from 2006-2008, amassing a record of 214-212. His efforts got him inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003. He is in his seventh season as the manager in Arizona.
Gabriel Moreno, catcher: A former Toronto Blue Jays top prospect, Moreno spent 65 games in Buffalo in 2021 and 2022. In 62 games in 2022, he hit .315 with three home runs and 39 RBI. He was traded to Arizona last winter and has hit .285 in his first full season in the major leagues this year. He has hit three home runs this postseason for the Diamondbacks.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr., outfielder: Another former Blue Jays prospect who spent five seasons in Toronto, Gurriel Jr. played a total of 68 games for the Bisons in 2018 and 2019. In his time in Buffalo, he hit .285 with nine home runs and 56 RBI. Him and Moreno were sent to Arizona in the same trade last winter.
Jeff Banister, bench coach: Banister spent 91 games with the Bisons as a player in 1990 and 1991 when Buffalo was affiliated with Pittsburgh. He hit three home runs for Buffalo. He actually spent four seasons as the manager of the Rangers from 2015-2018 and is in his second season as the bench coach in Arizona.
Aidan Joly joined the News 4 staff in 2022. He is a graduate of Canisius College. You can see more of his work here.