Share this article

print logo

This Day in Buffalo Sports History<br> June 29, 1962 -- Davis' last game

One of the interesting parts of researching these daily facts is that relatively unknown information can come up without any notice. This is such a day.

For four years, Buffalo hosted the Coaches' All-American football game at War Memorial Stadium. Some of the nation's best players played one last game against their peers before moving on to the pro ranks. In this particular contest in 1962, Bob Ferguson of Ohio State ran for 99 yards. Woody Hayes of Ohio State coached the East, with Ben Schwartzwalder of Syracuse assisting.

However, the 1962 game will always be known as the last game Ernie Davis played.

Davis was one of the great stars in college football history. He led Syracuse to a national championship in 1959, and became the first African-American Heisman Trophy winner in 1961.

He was projected to have a great future with the Cleveland Browns, who traded Bobby Mitchell (a Hall of Famer himself) to Washington to obtain the rights to Davis. The idea was for Davis to team with another ex-Syracuse star, Jim Brown.

But fate got in the way. Davis contracted leukemia and never played as a pro. He died in May, 1963.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs

There are no comments - be the first to comment