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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Fred Breining

(Born November 15, 1955) -- Fred Breining is a familiar name to Buffalo Bisons’ fans. In fact, he’s a big part of an important day in team history.

The pitcher grew up in Northern California and was a third-round draft choice of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1974. His first pro assignment sent him to Niagara Falls, where he played in the New York-Penn League.

Breining worked his way up the organizational ladder slowly. Finally, he was assigned to the Pirates’ Double-A affiliate in 1979. That sent him to Buffalo, which was back in baseball after close to a nine-year drought. What’s more, he started the team’s first home game in War Memorial Stadium, won by a walk-off home run by Luis Salazar.

Breining had a 5-4 record with the Bisons before he was traded to the Giants in a six-player deal involving Bill Madlock. He reached the majors a year later and stayed there through 1983.

In 1984, Breining was dealt to the Expos. He fielded a bunt by Ray Knight, threw to first ... and blew out his shoulder. Breining never pitched in the majors again. He currently teaches baseball in the Sacramento area.

--- Budd Bailey

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