(Born August 31, 1913) -- At first it’s a little difficult to find the connection between Ray Dandridge and Buffalo. Then comes the discovering: the Baseball Hall of Famer grew up here.
Dandridge was born in Richmond, Virginia, but soon landed in Buffalo. He showed great ability to play the game of baseball here and eventually ended up in the Negro leagues.
The third baseman broke in with the Detroit Stars in 1933. He eventually landed in Newark for much of the 1930s, where he established a reputation as one of the best infielders in the game. Roy Campanella once said he never saw a better third baseman.
Dandridge eventually jumped to the Mexican League, where he spent much of his time between 1940 and 1948. Finally in 1949, he was signed to play in the minors ... and hit .362 to win rookie of the year honors at the age of 36. Dandridge was the American Association’s MVP a year later.
Dandridge retired from playing in 1955, and became a scout for the San Francisco Giants. Eventually he took his rightful place in Cooperstown, his arrival delayed by bad timing more than talent. Dandridge also went into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
--- Budd Bailey