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.

#23

Calvin Murphy, Niagara. The 5-foot-9 guard was arguably the most exciting player in Western New York college basketball history. The three-time All-American averaged 33.1 points per game, and had a fine NBA career after graduation. Others: Chris Drury, Sabres; Steve Priolo; Bandits; Rudy Pikuzinski, Blizzard; Adam Jones, Canisius.

Paul Peck’s Digit Discussion: Along with his basketball prowess, Murphy was a nationally-ranked baton twirler.  I know this because one of his baton teachers and mentors was Van  Miller’s wife, Gloria.  Van broadcast Murphy’s games at Niagara, and that relationship led to many trips the Miller family home in Tonawanda to practice baton twirling with Gloria.  Imagine a star like Calvin, not only twirling a baton but doing it a typical WNY neighborhood.

Missed any of the previous numbers from 99 to 24?  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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