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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Billy DeMars

(Born August 26, 1925) -- Billy DeMars liked Western New York so much, he kept coming back and back to it.

He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1943, and his second stop in the minor leagues was with the Olean Oilers. He was one of two players on that team to make it to the big leagues. Baseball fans know the other name - Ralph Branca. DeMars hit .270 in Olean.

After a break due to World War II, DeMars wound up in the Athletics’ chain and played in the majors in 1948. But he was sent to Buffalo in 1949. DeMars hit .278 in seeing plenty of duty at shortstop.

It was on to the St. Louis Browns for parts of the next couple of seasons, and DeMars then landed in Toronto for four years. But he was back in Buffalo in 1956, against appearing in more than 100 games and hitting .244.

DeMars hung around the Triple-A level for a few more years, and then moved into managing. His last stop in that job came in 1968 in Rochester in the Orioles’ chain.

--- Budd Bailey

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