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.  Here’s the latest edition, breaking down 49-40.

#40

J.D. Hill, Bills. The first-round pick of Buffalo in 1971 was a dangerous wide receiver during his five years here, averaging more than 14 yards per catch in each season. He would have been even more dangerous in today’s game. Others:  Robin Lehner, Sabres; Troy Cordingley, Bandits; Ed Rutkowski, Bills.

Mike Waggoner’s Numerology: So not many super Buffalonians at #40, and J.D.Hill was a good choice from a somewhat dull group. That being said, another #40 I would give consideration to was one of the key weapons on the 1988 AFC East winning Bills team, which essentially began the “glory years” under Jim Kelly and Marv Levy. I wonder how many people remember that it was #40 Robb Riddick who scored 12 touchdowns on that team, which ranked 3rd in the AFC behind Eric Dickerson and Ickey Woods in 1988. Never a great feature back, Riddick did effectively run and catch the ball out of the backfield, pre-Thurman. Riddick eclipsed 1,100 yards from scrimmage in 1986, Kelly’s first season under center.

Missed any of the previous numbers from 99 to 41?  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.

Leave a Reply