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This Day in Buffalo Sports History; Feb. 27, 2006 -- Honor granted

One of the greatest players in Buffalo's long baseball history received long overdue recognition on this day.

Frank Grant was finally elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame, one of 17 from the Negro Leagues and pre-Negro Leagues selected in a special election.

Grant was called the last great African American player in pro baseball before the color line was established. He was a standout performer with the Buffalo Bisons in an integrated International League from 1886 to 1888.

Grant hit for average, ran the bases well and offered surprising power despite a 5-foot-7, 155-pound frame. By the end of the 1880s, blacks were no longer welcome in organized ball. Grant had to play for all-black teams in the minor leagues. He died in 1937 at the age of 71 and couldn't afford a tombstone in a Clifton, N.J., cemetery. However, the Negro Leagues Grave Marker project took care of that problem last year.

-- Budd Bailey

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