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Bills AFL LB Mike Stratton (The Hit Heard 'Round The World) passes away at 78

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Stratton was all around linebacker. He could cover and he was a fierce LB. He was the 58 before anyone. Milano wishes he was this good. 

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A hero of my adolescence, remember when I saw the hit on Lincoln, wow, the Bills can win this game!

1 hour ago, Helpmenow said:

Stratton was all around linebacker. He could cover and he was a fierce LB. He was the 58 before anyone. Milano wishes he was this good. 

Would be nice if the LB's wore 58 on their sleeves this year.

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Not only was he worthy of a HOF nod, but that 64-65 Bills D was the best defense the AFL ever produced. I loved watching them play and am still a defense first guy today.

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Arguably the greatest play in franchise history and the history of the AFL.  Passes away 8 months after Keith Lincoln. 

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And the iconic photo that was taken by Robert l Smith who passed away as well.

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7 hours ago, Jim Gehman said:

I enjoyed having some conversations with Mike, and am proud to share a couple of his stories.

 

 

 

Jim, thanks for sharing that. Those 60's Bills teams were a little before my time so I almost skipped this thread. Having read your post, I'm glad I didn't.

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13 minutes ago, Helpmenow said:

And the iconic photo that was taken by Robert l Smith who passed away as well.

 

 Mr. Smith signed and personalized a copy of his book, 'The Buffalo Bills: A View Through the Lens of Robert L. Smith, 1960-1995', for me. To this day, it is still one of my most cherished pieces of Bills memorabilia. 

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3 hours ago, Helpmenow said:

And the iconic photo that was taken by Robert l Smith who passed away as well.

Lincoln (7/19), Photographer Smith (2/20), Stratton (3/20) all pass away within 8 months of each other.  I thought I was seeing many retrospectives on the HHRTW.  

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RIP Mike.  Thanks for your great contributions to the Bills AFL Titles.

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13 hours ago, maryland-bills-fan said:

I remember Guitry, Jacbonson and Stratton as the linebackers at old War Memorial Stadium.

Ron GuiDry came after the titles and Harry JACOBS was our MLB. John Tracy (R.I.P.) was our other OLB during title years.

13 hours ago, Hampton Josh fan said:

Tom Sestak, Roland Mcdole,Jim Dunaway and Tom Day , Big Mike Stratton at OLB. Butch Byrd at safety. What a set of warriors.  Thank you Mike.

Hate to be ‘that guy’, but George ‘Butch’ Byrd was our Cornerback, along with Booker Edgerson. George Saimes was our great Strong Safety and Tommy Janik our FS.

 

just doin’ my part to keep these great teams & players included in team history.

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7 hours ago, Chandler#81 said:

Ron GuiDry came after the titles and Harry JACOBS was our MLB. John Tracy (R.I.P.) was our other OLB during title years.

Hate to be ‘that guy’, but George ‘Butch’ Byrd was our Cornerback, along with Booker Edgerson. George Saimes was our great Strong Safety and Tommy Janik our FS.

 

just doin’ my part to keep these great teams & players included in team history.

Thank you for referencing Saimes. He was the lynchpin of the backfield. I can't believe I forgot about his great contribution. 

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The Bills had a great defense in the Stratton era.The underrated Marty Schottenheimer and Mlb Harry Jacob's along with John Tracy were  Mike's linebacker teammates. What a joy for Bills fans to watch them flying around and make hits like the one big Mike made on Lincoln to clinch the championship. This team made me a lifetime fan although I lived in Brooklyn. 

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Booker Edgerson on the passing of Mike Stratton

 

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22 hours ago, Hampton Josh fan said:

Tom Sestak, Roland Mcdole,Jim Dunaway and Tom Day , Big Mike Stratton at OLB. Butch Byrd at safety. What a set of warriors.  Thank you Mike.

Right On!   Best defense in the AFL in the mid 60's. 

 

Harry Jacobs at MLB, John Tracey OLB, with Stratton at OLB

 

Butch Byrd and Booker Edgerson were the corners

 

George Saimes  - was an all AFL Safety.  We also had Tommy Janik and Haygood Clarke back there. 

 

Cookie could have probably started at LB too if we needed it. 

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A football players football player....if you watch what he did after "the hit" and compare it to what would happen today you'll be shocked.  He walked back to the huddle.  That's it - he made a fantastic play, which he felt he was expected to do, and he got ready for the next play...no taunting, no dancing, no nothin'.....They don't make 'em like that anymore.

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Posted (edited)

Who is left?  From that bills team #44 is gone too.

 

better get #42 on the wall.

Edited by Helpmenow

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4 hours ago, Chandler#81 said:

Booker Edgerson on the passing of Mike Stratton

 

 

 

Met Booker at a tailgate.  Very nice man with lots of stories and a voice easy to listen to.

4 hours ago, Bob in STL said:

Right On!   Best defense in the AFL in the mid 60's. 

 

Harry Jacobs at MLB, John Tracey OLB, with Stratton at OLB

 

Butch Byrd and Booker Edgerson were the corners

 

George Saimes  - was an all AFL Safety.  We also had Tommy Janik and Haygood Clarke back there. 

 

Cookie could have probably started at LB too if we needed it. 

 

Paul Maguire played LB and punted for Bills and if you listen to a number of older players talk they were very glad when he was signed away from Chargers.

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