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This Day in Bills History, Dec. 5: Welcome, Joe Schaffer

Dec. 5, 1959 – You could say the first Buffalo Bill, modern version, came into existence on this date.

The Bills signed their first player for the 1960 season. Joe Schaffer was a linebacker/lineman from Tennessee, and thus became something of a minor trivia question forever. Schaffer was drafted by the Bills in 1959, although the round wasn't revealed. Schaffer was the captain of the Vols that season.

Sure enough, Schaffer did make the Bills' roster in 1960. Wearing No. 67, he played in all 14 games but started none of them. The highlight of his season might have been an interception, which he returned 19 yards.

The Bills' first season wasn't too memorable under coach Buster Ramsey. The team went 5-8-1 and finished third in the AFL East.

As for Schaffer, that was it for his football career. He didn't turn up on the 1961 roster. Schaffer was immortalized on the first set of AFL football cards, produced by Fleer.

Budd Bailey is a retired sports reporter and editor at The Buffalo News. He is also the author of "Today in Buffalo Sports History." Learn more about the book here.

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