Breaking News
More () »

100-year-old Navy veteran to get one-day contract with Bisons on Independence Day

Roy Kinyon of Lockport always wanted to play professional baseball. The day after the Bisons called him up for a tryout in 1942, he skipped it and enlisted.

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — Live to be 100 and some things may not last. 

"Can you hear her OK, dad?" Bruce Kinyon asked his dad, Roy Kinyon. 

"Talk again," Roy Kinyon said. 

However, Roy Kinyon's love of baseball has always remained. It's all thanks to his older brother, Ralph. 

"He wanted to pitch for the Yankees, so everyday I was out catching them so he could pitch for the Yankees," Roy Kinyon said. 

Roy Kinyon, a 100-year-old from Lockport, spent so much time trying to make his brother better that he got better. His high school baseball team won the Niagara Orleans Championship two years in a row before he went off to play with Krull Park in the summer of 1942. 

"Right at the end of the season, that's when the Bisons offered him to come up for a tryout," Bruce Kinyon said. 

"I said, 'Oh, I'd like it, but I'm going to join the Navy tomorrow,' so I left for the Navy," Roy Kinyon said. 

A lifelong dream was abandoned all because Roy Kinyon knew his number would soon be called. In 1945, he was on the frontlines at the Battle of Iwo Jima.

"You don't regret it all?" 2 On Your Side's Danielle Church asked Roy Kinyon.

"Oh no. Do you ever have chills go up your back? On the fifth day, the flag went up. Then the Japanese blew it up. The flag went up a second time, and all the ships around the island blew their horns. That's when I got the chills," Roy Kinyon said.

It was his first thrill. This Independence Day at Sahlen Field will be Roy's next one. 

"I'd say it's my second thrill. My second thrill," Roy Kinyon said. 

It's when Roy will become a professional baseball player. 

"We will give him a one-day contract here. Roy will sign it in front of everyone in the stands before the first pitch," said Brad Bisbing, assistant general manager of the Buffalo Bisons. "He will be able to get his jersey with his name and number on the back, and then be able to do the first pitch."

Roy Kinyon's loved ones will be in the stands.

"There's going to be about 30 of us at the game to support him," Bruce Kinyon said. "We'll all be wearing the Roy Kinyon '100' hats from his birthday party."

The only ones who won't be there, because they passed a while ago, are Roy's brother Ralph and his wife of 65 years, Theresa, a nurse who once took care of him at Buffalo General.

"This one nurse would come give me shots and it wouldn't hurt," Roy Kinyon said. "We married a year later."

This Independence Day, to America, Roy Kinyon will forever be a hero. But in Buffalo, he'll be known for what he's always wanted.  

"He'll forever be a Bison," Bisbing said. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out