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The fans of Buffalo came from near and far to go to War Memorial Stadium for a baseball game. When the turnstiles stopped spinning, the count came to 26,523 – the largest crowd in Buffalo's long baseball history to that point. The catch is that the Bisons weren't involved. The contest was an exhibition game between the International League All-Stars and the New York Yan…

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The feeling around Western New York on this day wasn't quite like it was at the end of World War II, but football fans were mighty, mighty happy. Jim Kelly was finally a member of the Buffalo Bills. Kelly turned down the Bills' contract offer in 1983 after he was drafted out of Miami (Fla.) When the United States Football League collapsed in 1985, Kelly finally arrived.…

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If War Memorial Stadium wasn't the worst facility in the NFL by 1972, it was definitely in the conversation. So it was with some degree of pride that Rich Stadium opened as the team's new home. A crowd of about 80,000 jammed into the building to see the Bills play in a truly big-league stadium, as the Washington Redskins provided the opposition for the first home exhibi…

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It was a sad day for Western New York's indoor soccer fans. The Buffalo Blizzard gave up in its quest to survive and thrive. The Blizzard essentially was created to have events in a proposed new arena in downtown Buffalo, a building that eventually became HSBC Arena. The Blizzard never did catch on during its time in Western New York, a fate that wasn't untypical among …

This is something of a great trivia question for Buffalo sports fans. How many times was Vince Lombardi the head coach of an NFL team in Buffalo? One is correct. Lombardi led the Washington Redskins into Buffalo for a preseason game in War Memorial Stadium on this date. He left with an 0-1 record here, as the Bills defeated the Redskins, 21-17. Tom Flores hit Haven Mose…

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The most famous speech in Buffalo Bills history? I'd argue that it was Marv Levy's acceptance speech at his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Here are his words that day: I still hear echoes of those sounds which glorify this game. I hear the cheers of the crowd as Thurman or Andre goes hurtling into the end zone or as Bruce, Bruce, Bruce sacks yet another q…

If this isn't the oldest listing in this series, it's in the ballpark so to speak. Buffalo's professional baseball history started on this day. The Bisons – yes, the Bisons – played in the New York State Championship Association. Game one was against the Rochester Flower Citys (and not the Flower Cities), and ended in a 10-inning scoreless tie at the Rhode Island Str…

Golfers often say they'd love to play a course that has hosted the United States Open. Players in Buffalo, however, do it all the time. The Country Club of Buffalo hosted the Open in 1912. However, that club was located where Grover Cleveland Golf Club is now, moving in 1926. So all you have to do to play an Open course is bring your clubs to Main Street and Bailey Aven…

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You could argue that Buffalo has had two major pro athletes who are the best ever to play their position. One is Bruce Smith. The other is Dominik Hasek. Hasek was the one who left on this date, when he was traded to Detroit. Buffalo received a first-round draft pick, forward Slava Kozlov and future considerations for one of the greatest goaltenders ever. The deal en…

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One of the longest-running soap operas in Buffalo sports history – more than a year, in a sense – came to an end this day. The Buffalo Sabres and Ted Nolan parted ways after Nolan had coached the team for the previous two seasons. Nolan and Sabres General Manager John Muckler had not gotten along during Nolan's tenure. Muckler was let go shortly after the team was elimi…

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You win one Most Valuable Player award for a professional sports league, and you are a very, very good player. Do it twice, and you are an all-time great. Dominik Hasek became an all-time great on this date. The Buffalo Sabres' netminder won the Hart Trophy as the league's MVP for the second straight season in 1998. Hasek was coming off a crazy 1997 summer in which h…

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Michael Peca probably should have been a Sabre forever. He was one of the most popular players on the team, married a woman from the area, and was one of the league's best defensive centers. Teams usually try to find ways to keep guys like that. But, Peca and the Sabres hit a contract wall in 2000. Peca reportedly was waiting for a salary of $3 million, and the Sabres t…

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This was the end of a sad, sad story that wasn't just about sports. John Rigas, founder of Adelphia Communications, was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a multibillion dollar fraud that led to the collapse of one of the nation's largest cable companies. The company had been the owner of the Buffalo Sabres, with Rigas serving as the face of the franchise s…

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Do the words "no goal" mean anything to you? Has it really been this long? Sigh. The Sabres were trailing Dallas, three games to two, in the Stanley Cup finals. The teams were playing Game Six, which lasted until the third overtime, in Marine Midland Arena. Then Brett Hull of the Stars came up with the puck around the Buffalo crease. With his foot in the crease, he p…

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The Buffalo Bills had the brightest star in the football heavens under contract in the summer of 1976. O.J. Simpson was coming off three fabulous seasons. He ran for 2,003 yards in 1973, led the Bills to the playoffs in 1974, and picked up 1,817 yards rushing and scored 23 touchdowns in 1975. There was a surprise waiting for the Bills that summer. Simpson said in pub…