Golden Age of Buffalo Sports
When World War II ended in September 1945, Buffalo was the eighth largest city in the United States. Its economy was booming, its population growing, its downtown bustled with commercial activity in the daytime and lit up with excitement at night. In this setting, sports entered a golden age. Spectators flocked to Memorial Auditorium, Civic Stadium and Offermann Stadium in spectacular numbers to watch their teams perform successfully and their favorite athletes achieve stardom. Baseball, basketball, football and hockey, as well as boxing and wrestling, all enjoyed remarkable success. Then came television, the growth of suburbs, and the mushrooming of the Sunbelt. With those developments, the Golden Age diminished almost as quickly as it had exploded. But during those years that comprised the Golden Age, 1945-1950, unprecedented numbers of Buffalonians cheered on George Ratterman, Bob MacKinnon, Leroy Chollet, Zeke Sinicola, Freddie Hunt, and Joe and Phil Muscato. Gorgeous George, Yukon Eric, Howie Willis, and Tom and Phil Colella (no relation) also attracted thousands of fans. They are all here and many more in a thoroughly documented history of postwar sports in Buffalo, New York. An abundant dose of nostalgia flavors the work. This volume should merit the attention of all who have an interest in or an affinity for the history of the Queen City of the Great Lakes. It should also appeal to all those who wonder about the role of sports in their own native city in this pre-television age.