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Five famous sports figures from the Buffalo, NY area
The Western New York region is known for snow, the Buffalo Bills and chicken wings. But Buffalo, NY and the surrounding area often does not get the credit it deserves for its contributions to the sports world. Many native Western New Yorkers are very famous or significant in the world of sports, and many people may not even realize that these celebrities are from the Buffalo area. Here is a look at five prominent sports figures that have either gained notoriety or have made major contributions to the world of sports.
William G. Morgan
William G. Morgan is credited with inventing the game of volleyball, which he originally called mintonette, in 1895 at the YMCA in Holyoke, MA. He originally created the game as a way for older members of the YMCA to get exercise. But, as the game developed, it became the rigorous team sport we know today.
Morgan was born in Lockport, NY, which is a suburb of Buffalo located 20 minutes to the north.
Patrick Kane was awarded the NHL Rookie of the Year honors in 2008 for his performance in the 2007-2008 season. He had 70 or more points in his first three NHL seasons, and was a member of the Stanley Cup winning Chicago Blackhawks team in 2009-2010.
Kane was born in West Seneca, NY and still makes his off-season home in the Buffalo area.
In the 1980's, Tom Baker was one of the most famous professional bowlers in the world. In his career he has won 10 PBA titles, and he was inducted into the PBA hall of fame in 1999. After being inducted into the hall of fame he went on a roll that saw him win seven senior titles. He is eighth on the all-time PBA money list.
Tom Baker was born in Buffalo, NY and began his bowling career in the Buffalo area.
Christian Laettner became known as one of the bad boys of professional basketball, but he also enjoyed a 13-year career in the NBA. Laettner finished his career with 11,121 points and made the 1997 all-star game. He eventually became more known for his unpredictable temper than he did for his prowess on the court.
Laettner was born in a southern suburb of Buffalo called Angola, NY. He played his high school basketball at a private school in Angola known as Nichols.
Orel Hershiser was a World Series champion, Cy Young award winner, three-time baseball all-star, a Gold Glove winner and enjoyed a successful 18-year career in major league baseball. He finished his career with a record of 204-150 and 2,014 strikeouts.
Hershiser was born in Buffalo, NY. By the time he reached high school, his family had moved to Cherry Hill, NJ where he starred as a pitcher for Cherry High School East.
"William G. Morgan," volleyball.org
"Patrick Kane," hockey-reference.com
"Tom Baker," PBA.com
"Christian Laettner," basketball-reference.com
"Orel Hershiser," baseball-reference.com
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