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Arcadia to Release Baseball in Buffalo & Blizzard of 1977 Books

Arcadia Publishing has recently released two, Buffalo-centric books that are full of great images from the city’s heyday of Baseball and from the tumultuous Blizzard of 1977. Both books are full of fantastic photographs with some great history spread throughout.

Since the time of the Civil War, baseball has played an important role in Buffalo. Though most of the area’s baseball pioneers, including Ollie Carnegie and Luke Easter, are gone, they live on in the memories of fans, and some of their names have even graced the facades of facilities, like Offermann Stadium. In this book, Paul Langendorfer and the Buffalo History Museum have included each inning of the Queen City’s rich baseball heritage, from the 19th-century Niagaras and the 19131915 Federal League to the Buffalo Bisons.

“Riverside Base Ball Grounds was located on the block of Fargo Avenue and Rhode Island Street. The Buffalo Bisons called this park home from 1879 to 1883. In their first season here, they won the pennant in the International Association with a record of 81-32, along with three ties. This view was taken from the Tourists Hotel and was part of a stereoscopic image, a format that was very popular at the time. It took two almost identical images, and when viewed with a stereoscopic viewer, gave the image the appearance of three dimensions.” Courtesy of the John Boutet Collection, Buffalo History Museum.
“In this undated aerial view of Offermann Stadium, the location of the park on Buffalo’s East Side and the close proximity of the houses can be seen. Directly behind the right field wall was a row of two-family homes on Woodlawn Avenue. Great vantage points were to be had from the upper porches and rooftops, and the errant foul ball or home run would provide a great souvenir for eager Buffalo youngsters lucky enough to live in those homes.” Courtesy of the Buffalo History Museum.

The Blizzard of 1977 is still remembered in Western New York and often talked about even today. The blizzard occurred during the most extreme cold the area had ever seen, accompanied by some of the largest winter snowfalls on record. It struck with little warning on Friday morning, January 28, 1977, and the blowing snow and extreme cold paralyzed the Buffalo area until the first week of February. The storm made travel impossible and stranded thousands of people across the region, while snowdrifts buried houses up to the second story. This is a story not only of survival, but also of community. Neighbors helped neighbors, radio stations relayed messages and provided crucial information, and countless individuals donated their time and equipment to bring needed medicine or food to shut-ins across the region.

“The driving ban was very effective and left the Kensington Expressway looking like an abandoned road. The expressway was built in the 1950s, when Buffalo was experiencing an economic boom and traffic congestion was becoming a problem for Buffalo’s east side, especially along Humboldt Parkway, designed in the 1880s by the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Humboldt Parkway was to be the widest street in Buffalo and included two miles of green space. All of this was lost when New York Department of Transportation (DOT) officials and local leaders decided to alleviate traffic congestion on Buffalo’s east side by building the Kensington Expressway, which destroyed the Humboldt Parkway and cut the neighborhood in bhalf. Courtesy of E.H. Butler Library at SUNY Buffalo State (BLBS).
“Even if roads were open, not everyone was able to get his or her car started in the extreme wind chills of 30 to 60 below zero. Residents at Richmond and West Utica Streets chose to walk rather than drive after the blizzard.” Courtesy of BLBS.

Available locally wherever books are sold and at www.arcadiapublishing.com

Written by Mike Puma

Mike Puma

Writing for Buffalo Rising since 2009 covering development news, historic preservation, and Buffalo history. Works professionally in historic preservation.

View All Articles by Mike Puma
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