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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Frank Pytlak

(Born July 30, 1908) -- It’s never easy for baseball players to make the major leagues. The spring weather isn’t exactly working in their favor in terms of playing conditions. So when someone such as Frank Pytlak makes it, we celebrate their careers.

Pytlak was born in Buffalo and first played for the Bisons at the age of 19. He spent the rest of the 1929 season in Hagerstown and the 1930 season in Erie. Then the catcher returned to Buffalo in 1931 and hit .306.

Pytlak landed in Cleveland in 1932 for only for a short time, spending most of the year in Toledo. But the Indians had use for him starting in 1933, and he became a starter in 1937. Pytlak was behind the plate when Bob Feller struck out 18 batters in a game in 1938.

The catcher set a major league record for chances without an error from 1938 to 1940 (571). He moved on to Boston in 1941, when World War II got in the way. He spent most of the war at a recruiting station in Buffalo.

He died in Millard Fillmore Hospital in 1977, and is buried at St. Stanislaus Cemetery.

--- 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.

@WDX2BB | bbailey@buffnews.com

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