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This Day in Buffalo Sports History; March 22, 1979 -- Stallions fill gap

What's the line about as one door closes, another one opens? That was certainly true for the Buffalo sports scene in the early months of 1979.

The Buffalo Braves had departed for San Diego in a complicated transaction in the summer of 1978. That left a hole in the schedule for Memorial Auditorium. What could fill it? Indoor soccer, that's what.

On this day, the Major Indoor Soccer League announced that it would be expanding to Buffalo in the fall of 1979. The city didn't have a franchise name at that point -- a "name the team" contest later picked "Stallions." But it did have a general manager and coach.

It was Sal DeRosa, who was a familiar face to those living 90 miles to the east.

DeRosa coached the Rochester Lancers of the North American Soccer League for three years in the early 1970s. He'd be in charge of getting the Buffalo franchise ready.

In an odd coincidence, the news conference featured a special guest from a different part of Buffalo's sports history. Earl Foreman was the commissioner of the MISL. He had owned the Virginia franchise of the American Basketball Association and had signed Bob McAdoo to his first pro contract. The catch was that McAdoo wasn't yet 21; the Braves later signed him legally.

-- Budd Bailey

Sports Ink blog at buffalonews.com/blogs

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