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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: George Ratterman

(Born on November 12, 1926) -- Old-timers remember the original Buffalo Bills of the All-American Football Conference. And they certainly remember George Ratterman, the quarterback of some of those teams.

Ratterman was a top athlete in Cincinnati and landed at Notre Dame. There he was a letterman in baseball, football, basketball and tennis - one of only four people to win letters in four different sports there. Legendary coach Frank Leahy called him one of the greatest all-around athletes in the school’s history.

Ratterman arrived with the Bills in 1947, where he set a pro football rookie record by throwing 22 touchdown passes. He stayed through the 1949 season, when the AAFC and National Football League merged in a deal that left the Bills on the outside looking in.

The quarterback called signals for the New York Yanks of the NFL and Montreal Alouettes of the CFL before landing in Cleveland in 1952. He eventually succeeded Otto Graham as a starting quarterback in 1956.

Ratterman received his law degree in 1956 as well, and also worked as a commentator on American Football League games. He died in 2007.

--- Budd Bailey

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