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 selection.  The 89 to 80 podcast is up now.


Mark Napier – Sabres. The veteran forward requested this number because of his involvement with “65 Roses,” a group involved in the fight against cystic fibrosis. Napier had his best days with Montreal, but finished his good-sized career in Buffalo.  Others: John Davis, Bills; Tim Vogler, Bills; Dave DiRuscio, Bandits.

Bob Gaughan’s Numerology: I would go with John Davis.  Davis played with the Bills from 1989-1994.  I thought he was a huge piece of the offensive line for the Super Bowl teams. He was a true warrior in the eyes of his teammates.

Mike Waggoner’s Musings:  I do remember Mark Napier as a Sabre, but he was a Canadien and Oiler first. Getting former Oilers from the Gretzky era became a Buffalo thing in the late 80s and early 90s, when we had the likes of Charlie Huddy, Craig Muni, and Grant Fuhr wearing blue and gold, plus of course ‘Mucks’ himself behind the bench. Personally I’d go with John Davis. Yes, name generic, but an under-appreciated member of the K Gun’s O Line, played in three of the Super Bowls, and was one of Thurman’s favorite hole openers. He was awarded the NFL’s Ed Block Courage Award in 1993 – this award is given “to honor one player from each NFL team who, in the eyes of his teammates, exemplified a commitment to sportsmanship and courage” He still makes appearances in Buffalo.

Missed any of the previous numbers from 99 to 66?  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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