Bill Mazer, a legendary Buffalo-area broadcaster that served as the “Voice of the Griffs” during the 1950s, passed away on Wednesday in Danbury, Conn. He was 92 years old.
Mazer spent more than 60 years in the broadcast business and called some of the biggest games in Canisius men’s basketball history, including the Griffs’ epic four-overtime win against No. 2 North Carolina State in the 1956 NCAA Tournament. Mazer was also on the call when Canisius lost to Temple in the Palestra in Philadelphia in the 1956 East Regional Championship game, and was adamant that the backcourt violation against Griff forward Bob Kelly that decided the game was the wrong call.
Mazer later went on to become the play-by-play man for the Buffalo Bisons (baseball and hockey) for several years and was a sports anchor at Channel 2. He left Buffalo for a position at WNBC in New York City and he is recognized as the host of a sports talk radio show, that launched in March 1964. He earned the nickname “The A-Maz-In” for his deep knowledge of sports trivia and he wrote several sports trivia books, including Bill Mazer’s Amazin’ Baseball Book: 150 Years of Baseball Tales & Trivia published in 1990.
Mazer, whose passing was announced by Mike Francesca on WFAN Radio on Wednesday afternoon, is a member of the Buffalo Broadcasters Association Hall of Fame and the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and Museum. He had minor roles in movies such as Eyewitness and Raging Bull and he appeared episodes of ESPN’s SportsCentury as an expert on sports figures including Gordie Howe, Lawrence Taylor and Mickey Mantle.