by Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page

We are counting from 99 to 0 to determine who’s the best Buffalo athlete to wear each number.  It’s Buffalo Sports By The Numbers here on Buffalo Sports Page.

We’ll have a new number and athlete every day this summer.  Each story also includes reaction from the Buffalo Sports Page staff, and a way to catch up on numbers you’ve missed.

After every 10 numbers, a Sylvester & Peck On Sports podcast will feature Budd Bailey and the guys reacting to the selections.  The latest edition, recapping 39-30, is available now.

#22

Fred Jackson, Bills. He came out of minor-league and indoor football to sign as a free agent with the Bills in 2006. By 2009, Fred was a 1,000-yard rusher. Jackson spent eight seasons here, and was one of the most popular Bills of his era. Others: Lindy Ruff, Sabres; Nate Clemens, Bills; Willie Evans, UB; Tony Masiello, Canisius.  

Bob Gaughan’s Numerology: The story of Willie Evans needs to be known by all Buffalonians. In 1958 the UB Bulls refused an offer to play in the Tangerine Bowl against Florida State. This is because Evans and Mike Wilson weren’t invited because they were black.  Making it to a bowl game in 1958 was a huge accomplishment.  There weren’t nearly as many bowl games as today.  For the Bulls to decline was a huge positive statement in the fight for civil rights.

Missed any of the previous numbers from 99 to 23?  Visit the Buffalo Sports By The Numbers section on the home page.

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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