The Buffalo Bills Alumni Association will provide a unique and historical team item for fans that are looking for that special gift this Christmas and holiday season.
"The Hit Heard 'Round the World," arguably one of the greatest plays in Buffalo Bills history, was forever captured on December 26, 1964 by former Bills photographer Robert l. Smith during the Bills American Football League Championship win over the San Diego Chargers at War Memorial Stadium.
That famous tackle by Bills linebacker Mike Stratton on Chargers star running back Keith Lincoln is something that Bills fans will always remember, and was the turning point of the title game won by the Bills 20-7. Quarterback Jack Kemp led the Bills to a 13-2 record and the team followed up their dominating season with another AFL Championship in 1965, the last AFL Championship before the Super Bowl era.
For the first time in 44 years these two gridiron warriors, Mike Stratton and Keith Lincoln, met at this year's Buffalo Bills Alumni Foundation's Weekend of Events. Ironically, Lincoln, who was knocked out of the game on the play, later joined the Bills as a member of the 1967-1968 squads and is a Bills alumnus himself.
Former Bills wide receiver Charley Ferguson, who played in that memorable game, remembers the "Hit Heard 'Round the World" like it was yesterday.
"I'll never forget that the pass was timed simultaneously for Mike to hit Lincoln as soon as he caught the ball," said Ferguson. "That really destroyed Lincoln from that point. He was never the same after that hit, to be a really dominant running back."
At the Bills Alumni Association's VIP Gala held on Saturday, September 10, 2011, Stratton and Lincoln were introduced on stage, interviewed about the "hit" and reminisced with fans and Bills Alumni in attendance.
As part of the Alumni's festivities and fundraising efforts for the multiple charitable organizations in Western New York that they support, Stratton and Lincoln autographed a limited number of photos of that historical play – the most famous photo in Buffalo Bills history.
The Bills Alumni is now making a limited number of these unique, framed, autographed 11x14 copies of the "Hit Heard 'Round the World" available with a special holiday price of $99. All proceeds go directly to the Bills Alumni Association to benefit the Wounded Warriors program which is the Alumni Association's main charitable cause for 2011.
"Every year, the Bills Alumni selects a major recipient from the funds that we raise from our annual Weekend of Events," said Booker Edgerson, Bills Alumni Association president and Bills Wall of Fame cornerback from those AFL Championship teams. "We understand the difficulty that these American servicemen and servicewomen have when they return home from the war, and we wanted to do our part to demonstrate to these heroes how much we value and support what they have done for us and our country."
The Bills Alumni Association is a not-for-profit organization and the funds raised from their Weekend of Events is donated back to the Western New York Community through numerous charitable organizations. The Bills Alumni Weekend of Events includes the VIP Gala, a home game opener VIP Tailgate Party and Bills VIP Alumni Golf Tournament.
For more information on the Bills Alumni Association or to purchase your copy of this unique and limited piece of Buffalo Bills lore, fans can call JRC Promotions at 716-694-7867 or check out the Bills Alumni website at www.buffalobillsalumni.com.