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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Galloping in Buffalo

   October 12, 1927 - There might not have been a more important figure in the early history of football than Red Grange.

   As you might have guessed, he played in Buffalo ... as a pro.

   Grange was the biggest start to play the game in the 1920's. He was an All-American at Illinois, and created great interest in the sport throughout the country. Grange jumped to the National Football League's Chicago Bears immediately following his last college game, and took part in a barnstorming tour that netted him a reported $100,000. That was pretty good money in those days.

    Grange got into a contract dispute with the Bears, and essentially formed his own league for the 1926 season. He returned to the NFL with the New York Yankees in 1927. The Yankees played the Buffalo Bisons on Wednesday, October 12. About 3,500 came to Bisons Stadium in the rain and saw Grange and the Yankees beat the Bisons, 19-8. It was Grange's only touchdown of the season.

   It was something of a last hurrah for the Bisons. They played two more games that weekend, lost them both without scoring a point, and withdrew from the league. Buffalo's final record for that season was 0-5. The Bisons took 1928 off, returned for a dreary (1-7-1) 1929 season, and died.

   Grange, meanwhile, hurt his knee later in 1927, sat out the 1928 campaign, and returned in 1929 for the first of six seasons with Chicago. He wasn't the same after that injury, but he'll never be forgotten in the history books of pro football.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.