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EX-TEAMMATES' PRAISE FOR TASKER IS LETTER PERFECT

Steve Tasker received some long-distance words of appreciation at the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony Wednesday in HSBC Arena.

The former Buffalo Bills' special teams standout was one of 11 inducted into the hall. Former Bills quarterback Jim Kelly introduced Tasker.

Ex-teammates unable to make the festivities, including punter John Kidd and quarterback Frank Reich, sent their regards through the mail. Kidd didn't get points for brevity, sending Tasker a four-page letter.

"Steve, all I can say is thank you, and I hope not too many of the aches and pains you feel now were caused by punts of mine that didn't have quite enough hang time," wrote Kidd, who also played with Tasker at Northwestern.

From Reich: "It is rare for someone to have the individual talent of superstar and also be the ultimate team player -- and yet, this fits you on both accounts. The constant encouragement you provided to others not only helped bring out their best performance, but it was also evidence of your strong leadership on the team."
Inducted posthumously were Stan Barron, a sports talk radio pioneer, and Glenn "Pop" Warner. Dorothy Barron accepted the honor for her husband, who died in 1984.

"Being married to Stan meant being married to sports," Dorothy said. "Even if it meant spending your honeymoon at the 1956 World Series. . . . How many people can say they saw a World Series perfect game on their honeymoon? Stan used to joke that his wife thought perfect games happened in the World Series all the time."

Accepting for Warner, the legendary football coach and Springville native who died in 1954, was his grandnephew, Calvin Dunbar.

"Uncle Glenn would come to baby-sit us," Dunbar said. "His idea of baby-sitting was tying us to a tree in the back yard, and he'd get a chuckle while we tried to get loose."
For bowler Cindy Coburn-Carroll, the induction was a family affair. She and her mother, Doris, are the first mother-daughter combination in the hall.

"My father, Frank, is the reason I'm here tonight," Coburn-Carroll said. "I think back to all the times he spent with me while growing up and what a positive influence he was in my life. He was an accomplished bowler in his own right, but soon after my mother started to bowl competitively, his interest turned toward coaching.

"I'll always consider myself incredibly lucky to have a mother as wonderful as Doris. She was a class act. The bigger the challenge, the harder she fought. She was a wonderful role model for me, not just as a bowler but as a mother."
e-mail: amoritz@buffnews.com

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