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.

#41

Stu Barnes, Sabres. The forward was dependable and consistent during his four years here. He had always worn #14 before, but couldn’t here. So he flipped the numbers on his back – but still wrote #14 on his equipment. Others: Phil Villipiano, Bills; Ken Sutton, Sabres; Jamie Mueller, Bills.

Paul Peck’s Digit Discussion:  No real issue with Stu Barnes.  A great guy, good teammates, clutch player.  But I have a personal reason to go with Phil Villipiano.  He is from my hometown of Oakhurst, NJ.  Phil graduated from the same high school as I did, Ocean Township High School.  Even bigger for me, Phil’s autograph is the first I ever got from a professional athlete.  He appeared at a local event, while he was still with the Raiders.  I was probably seven or eight years old, and that has always stuck with me.  So for personal reasons, I go with Phil.

Missed any of the previous numbers from 99 to 42?  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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