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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Bubba Phillips

(Born on February 24, 1928) -- Bubba Phillips waited quite a while for the chance to play major league baseball. Once he arrived, he stayed for more than a decade.

Phillips was born in Mississippi, and his brother gave him the nickname that stayed with him for life. In high school, he scored an amazing 235 points for the football team in only nine games. Phillips said it was a small school; he even kicked extra points.

Phillips moved on to Mississippi Southern College, where he played football and basketball. He chose to try his luck as a pro baseball player, and played with the Buffalo Bisons in 1952. There he hit .291 with 14 homers.

Phillips was ready for a shot at the big leagues, but a two-year stint in the armed forces delayed that. However, he was the starting left fielder for the Tigers in 1955 on opening day. Phillips bounced to the White Sox and Indians before returning to Detroit.

His final major league appearance came in 1964, and spent part of 1965 in the minors. Then Phillips retired, and worked in real estate in Mississippi. He died of a heart attack in 1993.

--- Budd Bailey

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