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Erik Brady: Mark Twain would have had much to say about Buffalo losing its Thunder

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03.06.2021

Game day staff shirts hang on a rack at Trenton Thunder Ballpark.

Mark Twain had thoughts about thunder.

Not the baseball kind, as in what the Buffalo Bisons are called when they play in Trenton, N.J. – but the cloud kind, as in the sound made by lightning.

This comes up just now because this week the Toronto Blue Jays took up residence at Sahlen Field, on the site where Twain once lived. Then it was a boardinghouse; now it is a ballpark named for ballpark franks.

Author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain.

The displaced Bisons, meanwhile, are in the midst of an extended home-away-from-home homestand in Trenton; they won’t be called the Bisons again until they play in Rochester in mid-June. They are, schizophrenically, known as the Thunder when in Trenton.

“Thunder is good!” Twain once wrote. “Thunder is impressive; but it is the lightning that does the work.”

Perhaps this suggests Twain would have preferred the name used by the NHL team in Tampa to the one used by the NBA team in Oklahoma City. Or not. This much is sure: That wonderful line comes from a letter that Twain wrote in 1908 to one Henry W. Ruoff.

Twain we know as the pen name of Samuel Clemens, editor of the Buffalo Express in the mid-19th century. Ruoff is all but forgotten, even here, but he was a prolific author based in Buffalo at the beginning of the........

© The Buffalo News


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