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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Jeff Datz

(Born November 28, 1959) -- All sorts of baseball players have gone on to manage the Buffalo Bisons over the years. Jeff Datz was one of the more successful at it.

Datz was a catcher who played at Glassboro State College in New Jersey, which is now known as Rowan. He was drafted by the Reds in 1981, but didn’t sign. Then the Astros grabbed him in the 19th round a year later.

The backstop bounced around the minors for a while. A move to the Tigers did get him to the majors, briefly. Detroit got him into seven games in 1989, and he went 2 for 10 at the plate.

In 1994, Datz moved on to managing. He reached Buffalo in 1998, leading the Bisons to a 81-62 record. Datz returned the next year, and the Bisons had a .500 season.

Datz moved up to the Indians’ coaching staff for several years. Last season he worked as a coach for the Seattle Mariners.

--- Budd Bailey

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