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This Day in Buffalo Sports History: Capping the day's news

   July 17, 1956 -- The Buffalo Sabres recently made some news when they purchased the Rochester Americans in order to put their top minor-league players there.

   A mere 55 years ago, an National Hockey League team pulled the reserve financial transaction, selling a Buffalo franchise to local interests.

   The Pastor Brothers, Ruby, Al and Sam … bought the Pepsi bottling works in 1955. They decided more than two years later that getting into the hockey business would be good public relations. So they bought the hockey Bisons from the Chicago Black Hawks, as they were called then, for a reported $125,000.

   Someone certainly knew a thing or two about marketing, because the Pastors did something that is still fondly remembered today. They changed the Bisons' logo into a replica of a Pepsi bottlecap, with a sweeping "Buffalo‘ written in the middle of it.

   The Pastors held on to the the team until 1970, when it folded because of the arrival of the NHL's Sabres. The bottlecap lives on a bit in an alternate sweater design that includes a sweeping "Buffalo‘"across the chest.

-- 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.