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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Ken Rice

(Born September 14, 1939) -- When the battle for players between the National Football League and the American Football League first started, Ken Rice was one of the top prizes. He was one of the AFL’s first big victories.

Rice was an All-American at Auburn - twice, in 1959 and 1960. That earned him an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show. He made him the third overall pick in the AFL draft, going to the Bills, and the eighth overall pick in the NFL draft (Cardinals). Rice picked the Bills.

He was a big hit as a rookie. The 240-pound lineman was a second team all-AFL pick as a rookie and played in the All-Star game. Rice missed the 1962 season, but returned to play for the Bills in 1963.
In May of 1964, Rice was dealt to the Oakland Raiders for running back Leroy Jackson. That didn’t work out for the Bills, as Jackson never played a game in Buffalo. But Rice spent two years with the Raiders.

The offensive tackle had one more stop in his career. He landed with the Miami Dolphins and was a reserve lineman for the first two seasons in the franchise’s history until a back injury ended his career. Rice got a job in the construction business, and stayed in it for years to come.

--- Budd Bailey

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