Many people ask me what items do I like collecting the most. I would have to say game programs and ticket stubs. It's cool to think that at one time that program and stub "attended" those games that happened 30-40-50 even 100 years ago (and people actually SAVED them!). Programs were so much more interesting back then (the early 60's AFL Bills ones were the best with those great artistic covers). And the stubs from back then had lots of character not like the boring ticketron look of today. I am currently trying to acquire a program and ticket stub from every Sabres, Bills and Braves home games in their existence. Let me know if you have any that you would like me to look at. I am in need of many to fill in the holes in the collection.
Last Braves Home Game - Full Unused Ticket - Guess who the high scorer was in this game....Give yourself a bottle of Genny Cream Ale if you said Bob McAdoo. The problem was Big Mac was playing for the Knicks, one of the victims of Paul Snyder's fire sale. One of the terms of the Braves sale to John Y. Brown was that Snyder would get to keep any money from player sales so McAdoo, Jimmy McMillian and others were all sent packing for cash.
First Braves Game - Full Unused Ticket - 7,129 showed up. Don May was the Braves high scorer with 24 points in the Braves 107-92 victory.
Check out the prices for season tickets to NBA basketball? Are you kiddin' me? You can't go to some NBA games for what a whole season cost back then. And to think who we saw, Lanier, Jabbar, Maravich, Gervin, Chamberlin, Reed, Havlicek...good grief. And we had the best one of the bunch playing right in our back yard in McAdoo!
An example of a 1960's AFL Bills ticket from the Rockpile (War Memorial Stadium). The Bills continually had the nicest looking tickets throughout the 60's and 70's; great color, style and artwork graced these year after year.
The Buffalo Sports Museum has spearheaded a project that will get a historical plaque placed at the former site this summer. Join me on facebook to see how you can help get this plaque erected here.... The famous Offermann scoreboard - Only Luke Easter could clear this baby - 3 times in 1957 alone! Early Baseball Bisons Pennants
Rare Buffalo Sabres 1973
Playoff Program - The French Connection.
Did you know? The French Connection was named by former reporter Lee Coppola who ran the message board at the Aud, "Gilbert from Richard and Rene...its a French Connection!".
The Norsemen of the NAHL helped provide the basis for the movie "Slap Shot". They existed for one season (1975-76) and played the majority of their games at the Tonawanda Sports Center. Former Bison Guy Trottier was the teams player/coach. Their rival was the Johnstown Jets.
The Baseball Bisons were a fixture in Offermann Stadium from 1924-1960 when the stadium was torn down and the team transferred a few streets south down Masten Ave. to War Memorial...Why? I have NO idea, Offermann was a wonderful ballpark in the way Fenway and Wrigley are today. Another colossal blunder by the City of Buffalo.
Offermann Stadium in all its glory. Traditional HS occupies the site now. Drive by and you swear you can hear the crowd roar for another Luke Easter blast!
Luscious "Luke" Easter owned a sausage shop in town, he gave 5 lbs. of sausage to any teammate who hit a homerun!
Early 1900's Baseball Bisons Program
1887 Bisons Team Photo
Did you know? Professional baseball has been around Buffalo since 1877 but evidence shows the game may have been played here on sandlots as far back as 1852!
The 1905 Bison Nine
The Buffalo Sports Museum has spearheaded a project that will get a historical plaque placed at the former site this summer. Join me on facebook to see how you can help get this plaque erected here....
The famous Offermann scoreboard - Only Luke Easter could clear this baby - 3 times in 1957 alone!
Early Baseball Bisons Pennants
c. 1987 The new ballpark being built - It would open as Pilot Field but has had several names since.
Tom Prince hits a solo
homerun and the Bisons open their new stadium with a 1-0 win on 4/14/88
- It was freezing that day. I remember spending half the game in the
men's room running hot water on my hands!
Did you know? The first organized baseball team in Buffalo were the Buffalo Niagaras. In 1857 the Niagaras were one of the best baseball teams in the country. They once scored 209 runs in one game. The Niagara's played until the 1870's when the Bisons were born.
Preserving Buffalo's Great Sports Past
Bills First Game Program
July 30, 1960
Unused Bills Season Tickets from the Rockpile
Did you know? The Bills actually played a Canadian Football League team...and LOST. On August 8, 1961, the Bills traveled up the QEW to play the Hamilton Ti-Cats and got beat 38-21. This program is by far the hardest Bills program to find today.
The AAFC was a professional football league that tried to challenge the NFL from 1946-1949. The Bills (named Bisons in 1946 and switched to Bills in 1947) was not chosen to merge with the NFL in 1950. Buffalonians would have to wait another 10 years when the upstart AFL came knocking.
The Blazers were our first outdoor Soccer team. They played at the Rockpile in the late 1970's lasting only a few years and playing to well over a dozen or so people.
The Blizzard were the second Indoor Soccer team to give it a go in Buffalo. Playing in the NISL the team had a good run from 1993-2001.
An unused ticket to the Buffalo Sabres first home game, Oct. 15, 1970 vs Les Habitants. The only known example in the world! A stub from this game rarely if ever surfaces. An untorn ticket from this game is unheard of. Despite Roger Crozier's 47 saves the Sabres fell to the eventual Stanley Cup Champs, 3-0. Observers said that without Crozier that night it could have easily been 10-0.
Of all the trades in Sabres history this one ranks among the most important. Imlach had chosen Tom Webster with the first pick in the expansion draft and slyly swapped him for Crozier a former Rookie of the Year, Conn Smythe winner and NHL All Star. It gave the team credibility and would make them competitive every night.
One of my heroes growing up, I always had to be Roger Crozier on our backyard rink or driveway!
The 1978 NHL All Star Game made its way to Buffalo. In one of the most thrilling All Star Games the Wales beat the Campbell 3-2 in OT. Richard Martin scored the tying goal and Gil Perreault ended it in OT. Despite the Sabre heroics, villain Billy Smith won the MVP to the Aud crowds dismay. The All Star Game hasn't been back since - WHY?
The Buffalo Federals c. 1914-1915 were a baseball team in the old "Federal" League. This league was a rival to the established National League. Many of the great ballplayers of the day jumped to the Federal League for better pay. Sadly the league only lasted a few years. Try and find ANYTHING from this league, it is near impossible.
(Items donated by Bruce Dorskind)
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