Buffalo History Museum opens ‘Icons’ exhibit, which details many of the best players – and the best moments – in Buffalo sports
Being a sports fan in Buffalo has been pretty dismal for anyone under the age of 25. Eighteen years have passed since the Sabres were in a Stanley Cup game, and 23 years have gone by since the Bills played in the Super Bowl.
And yet the storied histories of the teams, the athletes and fan favorites have long bound local sports enthusiasts. It’s with the fans in mind that the Buffalo History Museum on Friday opens “Icons: The Makers and Moments of Buffalo Sports.”
Most of the exhibit comes from the Greg D. Tranter collection, donated to the museum in 2015.
The new installation on the second floor --replacing the 27-year-old “Buffalo Made” exhibit – uses photographs, artifacts, text panels and interactive and touch-screen displays to tell Buffalo’s sports story.
“This is about the sports, the information and telling the story, but it’s also about developing the human connections,” said Anthony Greco, director of exhibits and interpretive planning.
“We wanted to create the opportunity for people to come in and reminisce, for grandparents to talk to their grandchildren and say, ‘I remember this moment, I was sitting there, I was at this game,’ “Greco said.
The “Icons” display features 17 sports stars, including: Bisons slugger Luke Easter, the Bandits’ John Tavares, Bills legends Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith and Jim Kelly as well as the Sabres’ “French Connection” line of Gilbert Per-
being dispatched and en- countered a scene of chaos.
“Witnesses alerted officers to a man wearing camouflage fleeing the scene on foot. The subject was repeatedly ordered to stop and he refused,” Zack said. “After a brief foot pursuit, the subject was tackled to the ground by officers. No shots were exchanged between the subject and (Cheektowaga) police officers.”
The man they were chasing also was wearing body armor, but he was not in possession of a weapon when subdued, said Zack.
Zack said a bomb-sniffing dog was brought in as a precaution to check for explosives in a vehicle that police believe may be connected to the man. The chief said that police think that additional guns may be inside the man’s car.
However, two high-powered AR-15 rifles were recovered by police in the parking lot of the Dollar General store, the police chief said.
Given the weapons that were used, Zack said, it was very fortunate there were not more injuries, or worse ones.
“I can tell you, being on scene, there were several rounds that penetrated the front door glass of the store. One was completely shot out,” he said.
“It is a miracle that I’m not at this podium reading off the names of the dead,” Zack said.
Police did not release a name of the suspect. Zack said police were still in the process of trying to verify that. “He is not being cooperative with us at all, so motive, pre-planning, all those things we’re just unsure of at this time,” he said.
“The injured civilian has been identified. However, we will not be releasing that name until we receive the appropriate word from family of that victim,” Zack said.
Police Tuesday said it did not appear that the victim and the suspect knew each other and that the shooting appeared to be unprovoked.
Police interviewed several witnesses.
Cheektowaga Police were assisted in Tuesday’s preliminary investigation by the West Seneca Police Department, Niagara Frontier Transit Authority Police, Erie County Sheriff’s office, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Zack said he anticipated that the FBI would also be called in to assist in the investigation.