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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Chris Kelsay

(Born October 31, 1979) -- You’d expect an big all-state lineman from Auburn, Nebraska, to play college football at Nebraska. And that’s exactly what Chris Kelsay did.

The defensive lineman was an all-state selection as a senior, as he made 142 tackles with 14 sacks. By the way, he averaged 16 points per game as a basketball that same year.

Kelsay was a force at defensive end for the Cornhuskers. He was good in the classroom too, as he was inducted as a member of the NCAA scholar-athlete Hall of Fame in 2002.

The Bills pondered taking him in the first round of the NFL draft in 2003, but decided instead to take Willis McGahee instead. As it turned out, Kelsay was still available for Buffalo in the second round, and the Bills didn’t waste time taking him.

Kelsay been a member of the Bills’ defense ever since, contributing right from the start. He has mostly played defensive end, but he did some work at outside linebacker when Buffalo switched to a 3-4 defense for a while.

--- Budd Bailey

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Trent Edwards

(Born October 30, 1983) -- The Trent Edwards story almost had a chance to be something out of a storybook. It just didn’t work out the way the Bills thought it would.

Edwards was a standout quarterback in high school in California, and was ranked as one of the nation’s top prospects in a pro-style offense. He didn’t lose a game in his last two years as a prep star.

It earned him a scholarship at Stanford. Edwards had a string of injuries during his time there, and only showed flashes of his ability. Edwards still did enough to impress the Bills, who took him in the third round in 2007. JaMarcus Russell and Brady Quinn were taken in the first round that year. Stanford coach Bill Walsh personally told Bills’ GM Marv Levy it was a great pick.

After a good preseason, Edwards worked his way past J.P. Losman into the starting lineup. He was on the NFL’s all-rookie team. However, injuries and inconsistencies were a problem throughout his career. He started Buffalo’s first two games in 2010, and then was benched the next week and cut the week after that.

Since then, Edwards has been a backup with Jaguars, Raiders and Eagles.

--- Budd Bailey

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Travis Henry

(Born October 29, 1978) -- The life of Travis Henry has taken a variety of twists and turns over the years, and not all of them have been good.

Henry grew up in Frostproof, Florida, which is right in the middle of the state. As a senior, he ran for 42 touchdowns in 42 games, earning a trip to the University of Tennessee. There he won a national championship in 1998. Henry was picked by the Bills in the second round in 1999.

Henry wasn’t bad in Buffalo, rushing for almost 4,000 yards and made the Pro Bowl. But he lost his starting job to Willis McGahee and eventually was dealt to Tennessee.

The Titans kept him for two years, and Henry ran for 1,211 yards in 2006. However, Tennessee let him go to save money. He landed in Denver where he stayed for only a year. Then he was released, and later suspended by the NFL for a year for drug use.

Later that year, Henry was convicted of a drug trafficking charge. He was sentenced to three years in prison in 2009. Henry also allegedly fathered 11 children by 10 different women, and had child support payments totaling $170,000 a year at one point.

--- Budd Bailey

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Benoit Hogue

(Born on October 28, 1966) -- When Benoit Hogue scored for the Sabres at home in games against Winnipeg, the sound man had a song ready: “Benny and the Jets” by Elton John.

Hogue was a little small, but he was a good scorer. The forward had 108 points in 65 games in his last year of junior hockey, and that caught the attention of the Sabres. They had drafted him the year before in 1985 in the second round.

Hogue arrived in Buffalo for good in 1988. He scored 44 points in his rookie season, and he showed a mean streak with 120 penalty minutes - a career high. Hogue stayed with the Sabres until the fall of 1991.

Then Hogue was part of one of the biggest trades in Sabre history. He went in a package with Pierre Turgeon to the Islanders in exchange for Pat LaFontaine and others. Hogue had three straight 30-goal seasons for New York.

He went on to a long list of teams after that, including Toronto, Dallas (a Cup winner in 1999), Tampa Bay, Phoenix, Boston and Washington. Hogue retired in 2002.

--- Budd Bailey

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Pumpsie Green

(Born October 27, 1933) -- Elijah Green might have had one of the most unusual nicknames in sports history. Have you ever heard of anyone else named Pumpsie?

Green was born in Oklahoma and his mom gave him his nickname at a young age. His brother, Cornell, was a defensive back in the National Football League for Dallas.

Pumpsie signed to play professionally in 1953, and joined the Red Sox organization in 1955. In 1959, he was called up from the minors and played in his first game in the majors ... making history in the process. Green was the first African American ever to play for Boston, the last major-league team to integrate. While with the Red Sox, he became quite close to the legendary Ted Williams.

Green was traded to the New York Mets after the 1962 season, and was assigned to the Buffalo Bisons. Here he played in 130 games and hit .308. Green also spent parts of 1964 and 1965 as a Bison.

He retired after that 1965 season and became a teacher and coach. He threw out the first pitch before the Red Sox game on Jackie Robinson Day earlier this year, and is still fondly remembered by Boston fans.

--- Budd Bailey

Running notebook: Do the crime, serve the time

One of the winners at a cash prize at a recent Western New York race has confessed that he had been taking illegal substances for two years. That's going to have some ripple effects down the road. Details are in Sunday's column.

Elsewhere, I've gotten review copies of a few books lately. The first one I've read is "The Longest Race." It's a rather thoughtful account of an 11-year-old ultramarathon, but my guess is that it will have trouble finding an audience. Find my full review here.

Do you think some race directors looked outside Thursday and Friday and asked why the weather couldn't be like that over the weekend. We return to fall soon. Here's the calendar from buffalorunners.com:

* Strider Glider Quarter Marathon (6.55 miles), Westwood Park in Lancaster, 9 a.m. Saturday, 713-6102. It sounds like the Lancaster Striders have something of a unique course and event, which is always welcome. We'll see how Year One goes.

* Jack O'Lantern Fall Classic, 5K, Goat Island in Niagara Falls, 10 a.m. Saturday, 282-1228. There's prize money to be won  here, so usually some good runners show up. The race also puts the names of last year's competitors on the back of its shirt, which is good for bragging to non-running friends.

* Bob Ivory Run, 5K, 845 Kenmmore Ave. in Tonawanda, 9 a.m. Sunday, 270-4113. I'll have to ask why this race was moved from the first Sunday in November. I can use that hour of sleep. It's a Buffalo News Runner of the Year race, and thus the next-to-last chance to move up in the standings. It's also a chance to get some more items with Bob Ivory's name on them. I always kid Bob that he's rivaling Tommy Hilfiger for branded merchandise.

* Paint the Village Pink 5K, 4925 Main St. in Williamsville, 1 p.m. Sunday, 516-641-3587. This is an interesting idea - a Sunday afternoon race. What's more, it's the Bills' bye week, so you won't miss any football.

--- Budd Bailey

Post Time: Breeders' Cup goes Hollywood

By Gene Kershner

Next Friday and Saturday afternoons, the Breeders’ Cup (BC) will start its two year run at beautiful Santa Anita Park with the San Gabriel Mountains as the backdrop for thoroughbred racing’s championship weekend. The track will host 15 Breeders’ Cup races over the two day time frame just outside of Los Angeles in its return as the host venue.

The last time Santa Anita hosted the Breeders’ Cup, history was made with Zenyatta becoming the first female to capture the Breeders’ Cup Classic since its inception in 1984. I happened to be in the stands that day and the roar from the home town crowd when Zenyatta was flying down the lane was something I’ll always remember as a great moment in racing history.

One major change since the 2009  races in Arcadia, is that the synthetic Pro-Ride track has been converted back to a conventional dirt track, so reviewing the 2009 chart for the dirt races won’t do much good for those handicappers looking for the best angle to gain an edge on the betting public.

Here at the TBN, we’ll bring you coverage from Santa Anita, on the Sports, Ink blog starting with a Thursday preview of the Friday races with special focus on the BC Ladies Classic, which is a race loaded with talent. On Friday, we’ll have recaps from the day’s results and provide news and notes as the day progresses.

On Saturday we’ll have an advance in the print editions of the BC Classic with our Post Time selections of the $5 million race to be held in prime time on the East Coast at 8:30 p.m. on NBC (Ch. 2). We’ll be live blogging on the Sports, Ink blog all day on Saturday starting with the first of nine BC races right through post time of the Classic. On Sunday we’ll have a post-race commentary on the Classic and overall wrap-up of the two days of championship racing.

Make sure you check back here next weekend for our thoroughbred racing coverage of the 2012 Breeders’ Cup.

Gene Kershner, a Buffalo-based turf writer, is a member of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association, and tweets @EquiSpace.

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Swede Carlstrom

(Born October 26, 1886) -- Not too many members of the Buffalo Bisons have suited up in the team uniform for six consecutive years. Swede Carlstrom was one of the few.

Albin Oscar Carlstrom was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, after his parents had emmigrated from Sweden in 1880. He played in Lawrence (Mass.) in the New England league. He was called up to the Boston Red Sox, and appeared in two games for that team in 1991. According to news reports of the day, Carlstrom was very nervous in the field and in the plate.

That was it for the major leagues, but the infielder wasn’t done with baseball. He stayed in Lawrence through 1914, and then jumped to the International League. After started the season in Montreal, Carlstrom landed in Buffalo.

He stayed through the beginning of the 1918 season. having more than 500 at-bats in three straight seasons. Carlstrom was sent off to fight in World War I in 1918, and contracted rheumatism while overseas.

He played a little for the Bisons in 1919, and moved on to a couple of other teams through 1921. Carlstrom died of a cerebral spinal fever in 1935.

--- Budd Bailey

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Terry Martin

(Born October 25, 1955) -- Terry Martin picked the wrong last name when it came to playing for the Sabres in the late 1970s. He was always going to be the other Martin, compared to Rick. But he was a smart player who had a long professional career.

Terry showed some scoring ability in junior hockey. He had 99 points in 70 games  in 1974-75 there, and that prompted the Sabres to pick him in the third round in 1975.

Martin bounced around a bit in the minors before landing in Buffalo. The winger played 148 games here through 1979.

Then he bounced to Quebec and Toronto the following year. His best season statistically came in 1981-82 with the Leafs, as he scored 25 goals with 24 assists.  Martin also played with Minnesota and Edmonton.

After retirement, Martin landed in Rochester as an assistant coach. From there he became an assistant coach with the Sabres in 1995-96.

--- Budd Bailey

This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Pat Williams

(Born October 24, 1972) -- Pat Williams’ career is proof that you don’t necessarily to be a big name coming out of college to be successful.

Williams bounced around quite a bit after graduating from high school in Louisiana. He played at Navarro College, where he was a junior college All-American, and eventually played at Texas A&M.

That didn’t impress the pro scouts too much, and the Bills signed him as an undrafted free agent. Williams only played in one game in his rookie year, but slowly but surely earned more playing time on the defensive line.

In 2001, he was ready for full-time duty. Williams stayed in the lineup through 2004, and even ran an interception in for a touchdown in 2004. Buffalo didn’t re-sign him, and he became a free agent.

Minnesota landed the big tackle. Williams made three straight Pro Bowls there, but he was suspended for using a banned substance late in 2008. Williams fought the suspension in court, but lost the case in 2011. His last game in the NFL was in 2010.

--- 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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