January 22, 1942 -- There will never be another Ollie Carnegie in Buffalo's sports history.
Carnegie is one of the greatest players in the history of the city's baseball legacy. He arrived in a deal with Hazelton of the New York-Penn league in 1931. The cost: $500. It was a bargain, squared.
Carnegie wasn't considered much of a prospect at the time, as he was 32 years old. Carnegie stayed for the next 11 seasons. He played 1,273 games for the Bisons, and finished with 1,362 hits. Carnegie had 45 homers in the 1938 season. Those are all Bison records to this day.
Carnegie was released on this day, although he did come back and play during the 1945 season as teams scrambled for players during World War II.
He's in the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, as you'd expect. Back in those days, minor league teams were independent operators who sold players to other organizations to help make ends meet. Their primary role was not to prepare players for the majors. So someone like Carnegie who was thought to be too old for the big leagues could stay in one place and become a fan favorite.
Ollie certainly was that. Those days are over, but we still remember him.
--- Budd Bailey