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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Babe Dye

     (Born May 13, 1898) -- One of Canada's greatest all-around athletes spent part of his athletic career in Buffalo, and virtually no one remembers it now.

     Babe Dye deserves better.

     Cecil Henry "Babe" Dye was born in Hamilton, Ont., and shortly after that moved to Toronto. He arrived in the National Hockey League in 1919 with the Toronto St. Patricks. A year later he scored 33 goals in 23 games for Toronto, and he continued his winter sports success throughout the decade.

     But Dye needed something to do in the summer. He played baseball for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 1920. In 1922, his contract was sold to the -- you guessed it -- Buffalo Bisons.

     Dye played 122 games for the Herd that season, hitting .312. In fact, he never hit less than .290 in his four full seasons in Buffalo. Legendary Philadelphia owner/manager Connie Mack reportedly offered Dye $25,000 to give up hockey for baseball.

     Dye, who also played for Toronto in the Canadian Football League, was finished with baseball in 1926. He played in the NHL until 1931, and was picked for the Hall of Fame in 1970.

--- Budd Bailey

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