I have contributed to books on the Buffalo Sabres ("Then Perreault Said To Rico...The Best Buffalo Sabres Stories Ever Told" by Paul Wieland) and the only book on the Buffalo Braves, ("Home Of The Braves" by Tim and Chris Wendel). My most recent project was helping on the new book on the Aud, "Audieu, Buffalo Says Goodbye To The Aud" by Suzanne Taylor. The book (and calendar too!) is excellent I must say. Suzanne is one of the most passionate Sabres fans ever and has done marvelous work chronicling the Aud's demolition through her pictures. My Aud memorabilia is on display throughout. It is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon. I highly recommend it.
I am deeply saddened by the sudden loss of one of my all time favorite sports stars, Randy Smith. Randy was my favorite Brave growing up. His will and determination to make the NBA out of a tiny D-3 College (Buffalo St.) was a tesitment to his "never say die" attittude. Thank you Randy for playing the way you did, you will live in my memory forever.
The Knoxes chose these jerseys when the Sabres were born on December 2, 1969. The name "Sabres" was chosen to be their name, the result of a "name the team contest". The winner was Harry Cole a Toronto film maker. The Knoxes thought a Sabre was the perfect symbol for their new flashy club. The logo was a perfect combination of a charging Bison over the two crossed Sabres. It would remain there for 26 seasons.
A Spin of the Wheel brought Gilbert Perreault to Buffalo. While Perreault would go on to become the greatest Sabre in their history and a ticket to the Hall of Fame, the next selection that went to Vancouver was Dale Tallon, a nice player who had an uneventful career.
Did you know? The Sabres first goal was scored by Billy Inglis on Sept. 17, 1970 against the New York Rangers in their first pre-season game at Peterborough. The first regular season goal was scored by Jim Watson on Oct. 10, 1970 at Pittsburgh.
Amazingly the Sabres would make the playoffs in only their 3rd year. The '72/'73 squad was an exciting bunch that pushed the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Canadiens to the limit in the series. In game 6 when the outcome was inevitable The Aud first heard the "Thank You Sabres" chant. It was the start of a love affair that continues to this day.
Did you know? The Sabres first playoff goal was scored by Craig Ramsay in game 1 of this series.
Only Bernie Parent stood between the Sabres and the Cup. It took 6 games for the Flyers to eliminate the Sabres and take home the Cup.
The Sabres dismantle the Wings of the Soviet 12-6 at The Aud in the worst loss in Soviet hockey history. This is probably the most famous game in team history and it didn't even count in the standings. An untold number of people claim to have been at this game.
Ticket variations from the 1970's Sabres.
Sabres Season Ticket Books - Who saved these things anyway? Evidently somebody did. Whatever happened to Utica Club? Yech!
That's Ernie Digregorio visiting the Exhibit:
"Thank you so much for everything you do in keeping the
Braves spirit alive!" - Ernie D.
The Buffalo Braves Cheerleaders in beautiful 1970's uniforms.
Postmarked envelope commemorating the Braves first home game in franchise history -
October 14, 1970 vs the Cavaliers - Braves Win, 107-92.
The Braves and WBEN Radio 930 were partners for all eight seasons - Van Miller doubled as voice of the Braves along with his primary duty as voice of the Bills.
Did you know? The Braves held a winning record against only 3 NBA franchises, The Cavaliers, The 76ers and The Jazz.
Early AFL Bills Pennant - Notice the logo from this period, it would remain through the 1960's. The number on the runner is #31 - The Bills would not issue that number until the early 1990's.
The standing red Buffalo was a fixture on Bills helmets from 1962-1973. It's another example of a pro team having the perfect logo and then messing with it. The Bills had the nicest jerseys during these years and now they look like they should be playing Arena Football. Please bring the throwbacks back full time Ralph!
Did you know? The AFL will celebrate their 50th anniversary season this year. For history on the league go to www.remembertheafl.com. Buffalonian Angelo Coniglio is the man when it comes to the AFL. Check out his wonderful site.
An example of the Bills first season program - Getting harder to find by the day. Most people bought these and used them to sit on or cover their head that's why mint copies like this one are a dying breed.
Any souvenir from The Rockpile is a great collectible. Notice the 2 runners and 2 Bisons on the logo.
In the wide open point a minute AFL, the Bills won mainly with defense which is largely forgotten. The mid 60's Bills defenses are still some of the best in football history.
One of the nicest Bills photographs in their nearly 50 years. Paul Costa's diving catch over a Boston Patriot (Courtesy of Robert Smith).
OJ runs for the record - 2,003 yards in one 14 game season still stands today, December 16, 1973 at NYJ.
The nicest set of Bills cards - 1965 Topps. Just a gorgeous use of color and style.
1965 AFL Championship Game Stub - Bills win 23-0.
"Buffalo's Got The Spirit, Talkin' Proud, Talkin' Proud..." - 1980 was a great year for Buffalo as the Bills returned to the playoffs led by Joe Ferguson and a tough defense. It was a great year to be a fan. One of the funnest seasons in team history and my personal favorite Bills team.
Fergy is still my favorite Bill. His courage under sometimes difficult times put him in my Hall of Fame.
"The Bill" didn't last long on the sidelines at Rich Stadium. He became a frequent target for snowball throwers in the late 1970's when the team started its downfall. Who was the guy playing the back end? And you think you have a bad job? (Photo courtesy of Robert Smith)
The "Jills" were formed in 1961 and still perform today (not the same girls thank goodness!).
The "Jills" display at the Toy Town Museum in East Aurora. (Courtesy of buffalojills.net).
Some of the items in "The Archives"
Pucks, Nodders, Stubs, Buttons
Balls, Helmets, The "Whammy Weenie"!
Rarely seen photographs (this one courtesy of Al Ruelle)
Buffalo Sports Books
Unique and one of a kind items such as
THE original sheet music for "The Sabre Dance" used by Norm Wullen the Aud organist. When the team was named "Sabres" it was the Knoxes idea to play this piece of music prior to the team coming out onto the ice. (Graciously donated by Paul Wieland).
A local figure skater named Sundae Bafo was hired to skate around the ice and slide a Wilkinson Silver Saber into the opponents net. She became known as "Sabre Girl". It lasted one season.
Sundae is now a coach for the U.S. Figure Skating Association in Colorado.
Bobby Orr skates in on one of my heroes, Roger Crozier in a first year game. Of course Crozier won this battle! Note Roger's mask, this is his Lefty Wilson Red Wings mask. Lefty was a Red Wings trainer who designed some of the earliest masks of many goalies of the day. The familiar mask Buffalonian's all associate with Roger would come in the '71-'72 season.
Preserving Buffalo's Great Sports Past
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