The Buffalo Sports Museum
The Site For Buffalo Sports Fans !
A Place For Buffalo Sports Fans To Reminisce About The Good Old Days
All images and text copyright john boutet, 2012
Growing up in Kenmore, NY in the 1960's and 70's I became addicted to sports, especially Buffalo sports. I started collecting stuff just like any other kid of the era; going to games with my Dad, running around The Aud or War Memorial in search of ticket stubs or discarded programs. On occasion my Dad would give me a few bucks for a pennant or poster for my room. I graduated to autographs soon thereafter. How many hours did we spend waiting at The Aud locker room waiting for our heroes to come out? We couldn't wait for a snow day so we could spend the morning at the Nichols rink watching Punch, Joe the Crow or Floyd run the Sabres through drills. I'll never forget the feeling I got when one of the players would break a stick and it would come flying over the glass as a sort of a reward for our fandom. I can never thank Roger Crozier enough for turning me into a goalie at the age of seven (that continues on to this day). Anyway, that's how collecting started for me. I have been trying to get a sports museum built in Buffalo for the last 5 years or so. It seems everyone with the power to make that happen thinks its a wonderful idea but no one has stepped forward in helping me do that. I would gladly use my collection as the basis for the museum if somebody wants to give it a go. Until that happens I will try and display some of the items here for everyone to enjoy. I hope it brings back fond memories for you as it always does for me.
Check out Mike Harrington's article that appeared in The Buffalo News on August 31, 2009 about THE BUFFALO SPORTS MUSEUM. The video appears on their web site as well. Take a sneak peak at the Museum inside:
The Buffalo Braves were born in 1970 and played 8 seasons in Buffalo's Memorial Auditorium. The Braves had some outstanding players in their short life headed by Hall of Famer Bob McAdoo (1973 Rookie of the Year). Other great Braves included Randy Smith (1978 All Star Game MVP), Ernie Digregorio (1974 Rookie of the Year) and Adrian Dantley (1977 Rookie of the Year). One of the greatest coaches in NBA history coached the Braves for 4 seasons in HOF'er Dr. Jack Ramsay. The victim of poor ownership, the Braves left for San Diego in 1978 and relocated to Los Angeles in 1984 where they reside today. The Clippers have embraced their NBA Braves roots and often wear the throwback Braves orange and black jerseys as a tribute to their history.
Ultra Rare Season Ticket Books with unused tickets inside!
Pennant sold at
For a team that only lasted 8 seasons the team changed their colors quite often. The first year colors were red, white, royal blue and gold. The second season saw the colors change to orange and black. In the fourth season those would change again to columbia blue, white with black trim where it would run through its eighth and final season.
Opening night for the Braves happened on Oct. 14, 1970 - one night before the home franchise opener for the Sabres.
Bob Kaufmann was the Braves first All Star Game representative.
"Who's gonna steal that ball from you? McAdoo, McAdoo, McAdoo..." sang Randy Smith.
Let's retire Big Macs #11 and Randy Smith's #9 to the rafters of the HSBC. Who's in charge of that anyway? Can somebody steer me in the right direction to get this done?
For me, it was always time for the Braves!
First year Braves pennants - The white one is harder to find than the yellow one.
Although the team was fun to watch the first 2 years, it wasn't until their 3rd year when Bob McAdoo was drafted and Dr. Jack Ramsay was hired for the team to find success.
First year Braves ticket - Man are these hard to find nowadays!
"Pistol" Pete Maravich drives the lane against Randy Smith and John Hummer. Randy makes the steal!
International Cable? Remember when cable came around in the 1970's, I think my family was the last family in WNY to sign up.
What a view from the top of War Memorial - I still recall getting seats directly behind one of these poles for a Bills game (1972 vs the 49ers, I think).
My dad and I sat in these field level seats at the last Bills game at the Rockpile, December 10, 1972 - Bills 21 - Lions 21.
Filming of "The Natural" took place at the old stadium in 1983. We were lucky enough to get to shag balls at several batting practice sessions. Our college games were moved to accomodate Redford and the rest of the Knights. (Courtesy Tri-Star Pictures)
The Buffalo Sabres were also born in 1970 and played 26 seasons in "The Aud" as it was affectionately known. The team moved into the HSBC Arena (originally known as Crossroads in its construction and then Marine Midland Arena). Many great players have been Sabres including HOF and 1971 Rookie of the Year Gilbert Perreault. The closest brush with the Cup came in 1975 as the French Connection tore up the NHL. A thrilling 6 game final with the Flyers highlighted by a game played in the fog at The Aud, ended in a Philly parade. Twenty four years later in 1999 the Sabs came close again in a disputed 6 game final with the Stars. The original team was owned by the Knox Family and replaced the AHL Bisons. The team continues on today under owner Tom Golisano as a proud member of the NHL still in search of its first Stanley Cup.
Unsuccessful to secure an NHL team in 1965 and again in 1967, The Knoxes finally got us in in 1969.
One of the happiest days in Buffalo sports history - December 2, 1969.
Rick Martin and
Gilbert Perreault, the first 2 superstars of Buffalo hockey, c. 1971
Gilbert as our first "All Star" rep in 1970-71.
An early Sabres home jersey, complete with drawstring! Cool.
Did you know? Taro Tsujimoto was the first "player" ever drafted from Japan. Taro's name still graces the Sabres media guide in the 1974 Draft.
"We're Gonna Win That Cup!" 45
By Tommy Calandra and Donna McDaniel.
One of the earliest Sabres programs from Training Camp 1970.
The Greatest Sabre celebrates his 500th goal (vs New Jersey, 1986 at The Aud).
The Bills were born in 1960 and were one of the original 8 AFL franchises. Owned for almost 50 years by Ralph Wilson, the Bills have an enormous following and boast 2 AFL titles (1964, 1965). An unprecedented run of 4 straight Super Bowl appearances were the pinnacle of the franchise but have run on hard times lately. Many greats played for the Bills including Jack Kemp, OJ Simpson, Joe Ferguson, Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly.
1964 AFL Championship Program vs the Chargers
Rare AFL Bills Programs
First Year Bills. Richie Lucas from Penn. St. was the Bills first ever draft pick.
Home of the Bills
(Playing Baseball for Canisius College allowed me to play on the same field as Kemp, Sestak, Johnny Bench and Roy Hobbs - While they all probably thought it was a dump, I thought it was the sweetest place to play).
The Ol' Rockpile at Jefferson, Dodge and Best Streets in the "Fruit Belt".
The AAA Bisons played the last pro game at the Rockpile on August 30, 1987 against Nashville. I was there.
Trivia question - Who was the winning pitcher in this game? None other than Tonawanda native and O'Hara grad Bill Scherrer who was a relief pitcher in the Reds organization.
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