Be sure to check out the Monday Extra in the Sports section on local teacher John Boutet's labor of love, the Buffalo Sports Museum. Boutet has more than 10,000 pieces of memorabilia in his home and has put photos of many of them on his voluminous Web site at www.buffalosportsmuseum.com. I spent three hours in his home last week and probably could have spent about 13 more because there were so many bring-back-the-memories things to see.
For an even better look at the collection, follow this link to our Web video, Great work as always by digital media producer Joseph Popiolkowski and photographer James P. McCoy, whose shots are in the paper, on this blog and in this photo gallery.
Boutet sent me a follow-up email last week that he agreed to let me share here. What's the favorite item in his collection? It's the mid-1950s Duke Snider Rawlings baseball glove of his late father, Paul. When John was a child, Paul Boutet was the one who took him to the Aud and Rockpile and let his son become a kiddie collector of sorts by mining ticket stubs and the like. Boutet gives you some more insight:
"He taught me everything I know about the game of baseball and more importantly life in sports. ... My Dad was the father who would always end up volunteering to coach when none of the other fathers would. He would work his 10-hour days and rush home to get us in the car and head over to Kenmore West for practice. He was the father who would drive all the kids home because he knew it was safer than having them walk or ride a bike on the busy Kenmore streets. He was the father who kept every kid who tried out because he knew everyone had value even if they were only the water boy or equipment manager. He never once cut a kid. He made sure every kid got a jersey even if it came out of his own pocket.
"He was the father who treated every kid to ice cream after the games on Saturdays at Anderson's. He was the father who threw batting practice until his arm nearly fell off. He was the father who when he found out that 20 kids weren't going to make the St. Joe's JV hockey team said "Let's make a JV "B" team just so those 20 kids would have a team to play on. He never coached hockey in his life but he wanted those kids to have a team to call their own. He named the team the "It's" because he said "It was the team to play for". That was my Dad, always looking out for all the kids, not just his own. So my favorite item is that tattered old glove, because it symbolizes all that my Dad was...my hero."
Great stuff. Nothing more to be said after reading that.
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