Bob Kauffman contacted us a few days ago, after receiving a copy of the Buffalo Braves anthology: “Buffalo, Home of the Braves”. Kauffman of course was a driving force in the early years of the Braves franchise, and was a three-time NBA All-Star with Buffalo. He was flattered by the book and thought back fondly on his playing days in Western New York.
Here’s an edited audio version of the voice mail message that Kauffman was kind enough to leave: bob kauffman voice mail
This short excerpt from “Buffalo, Home of the Braves” demonstrates Kauffman’s commitment to Buffalo: “The franchise did its best to win over local fans. Coach Schayes and his players put on more than 80 local basketball clinics. They did so to “get people more interested in professional basketball,” Kauffman later told former Buffalo sportscaster Pete Weber. “What we started there was the good will that the Braves cared about the people of Western New York. It was a romance and we drew well for the first couple of years because we cared, we tried, we worked.””
Transcript version of Bob Kauffman's message: "Hey Chris Wendel, this is Bob Kauffman in Atlanta Georgia. I want to thank you very much for sending me a copy of the new book on the Braves, that Tim did and the you guys collaborated on and everything else. I just wanted to thank you very much, it’s tremendously informative, it brings back awesome memories, and I also regret that franchise had to leave, because Buffalo was a wonderful place for Judy, me, and my family. I just wanted to thank you guys for doing what you did, it is really awesome. Thanks for writing about the Braves, I never envisioned it, but you knew there was a market for it. It looks like it was a lot of love was put into it and it brought tears to my eyes. Thanks once again to both of you and everyone else who was involved."
The success of the book “Buffalo, Home of the Braves” began long before it was published, with the establishment of a strong online presence. We started our internet work with A Bigger Voice, a community-building organization out of Colorado and continued drawing interest through the book’s writing, editing, and publishing phases, finding those who fondly remember the “Golden Era of Buffalo Sports” of the 1970’s, when Western New York had three viable professional sports franchises.
A few days ago we formed a Facebook Group Page that has quickly gained over 250 followers and has sparked more discussion about Buffalo’s sports history. Along the way we’ve sold quite a few books, and continue to find a loyal audience of folks who like us, grew up attending Sabres and Braves games at the Aud.
Through our blog site Buffalo Nation and other related sites we’ll continue the dialogue. Look for a new book related to that “Golden Era in Buffalo Sports” that will be released later this year. More on that soon.
Sun Bear Press publisher of Buffalo, Homes of the Braves, has completed an upgraded of its web site. The new look focuses on the Buffalo Braves, Western New York’s NBA team that played its formidable years in Buffalo’s Memorial Auditorium.
The new site features a collection of Buffalo Braves articles, a full chapter excerpt from Buffalo, Home of the Braves, book reviews, and a list of retail outlets selling the book in the Buffalo area. Buffalo, Home of the Braves is available in a limited quantity for $89.
- B is for Books, E. Quaker Street, Orchard Park
- UB Bookstore North Campus off of Audubon Road
- The Book Corner Main Street, Niagara Falls
Forbes Magazine of all publications today announced its list of the “Top Ten Most Miserable Sports Cities“. I first heard of the rankings this morning while watching the Mike and Mike Show on ESPN2. I was waiting to see where Buffalo would land, knowing that a maligned reputation based on lost Super Bowls, rust belt economics, and snow would likely garner Buffalo a top position.
Buffalo was third behind Atlanta and Seattle with the rhetorical criteria centering around heartbreak, blown titles, and franchises that left town (i.e the Braves). After a fanfare buildup Mike and Mike’s Mike Greenberg went through the rankings and simply stated, “That’s not a very good list.”
Instead of making apples and oranges comparison between cities and discrediting the sports reporting credentials of Forbes, it may be best to pinpoint why Buffalo and its sports community are an acquired (usually by birth) taste that outsiders don’t generally understand. And oh yeah, for the record, the Buffalo Braves left town because of an inept ownership and not because of fan support.
30 days and two days ago the Braves played their last game in Buffalo. The Buffalo News barely took the time to honor the anniversary with a token article that was read like it was written by someone who wasn’t even alive on April 8, 1978.
Yesterday Bob McAdoo and Randy Smith did make the final selections in the USA Today “All-time Braves/Clippers Starting Five”. McAdoo outdistanced Elton Brand by 20 votes thanks to the last day effort from the Buffalo faithful.