Former Buffalo Bills TE Ernie Warlick dies at 80

Former Buffalo Bills TE Ernie Warlick dies at 80

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) Anyone who ever met Ernie Warlick couldn't miss the size of his hands. It's what earned the former Buffalo Bills star his nickname, ``Hands,'' and helped him become among the forerunners of pro football's era of pass-catching tight ends.

Warlick, a member of the Bills' two AFL championship teams in the mid-1960s, died at his home in Williamsville, N.Y., on Saturday after a brief illness. He was 80.

His death was confirmed by Amigone Funeral Home in Amherst, N.Y. The cause of death was not immediately known.

Former teammate Booker Edgerson said Sunday that Warlick had spent part of the past two weeks in a Buffalo hospital after complaining about pain in his shoulder.

``He's going to be fondly remembered, and it was a great loss,'' said Edgerson, a former linebacker who first befriended Warlick in 1962 when they joined the Bills as rookies.

It was evident to Edgerson from the outset what made the 6-foot-3 Warlick stand out among most tight ends of that time.

``I remember in practice, he went up and caught balls that normally would not be caught. He had the height and everything, but he had these big hands,'' Edgerson said. ``That was one of the things that everybody used to talk about. They'd say, `Oh, man, did you see that guy's hands. His one hand is bigger than both of mine.'''

In four seasons with the Bills, Warlick finished with 90 catches for 1,551 yards and four touchdowns. He was a four-time AFL Pro Bowl selection and helped the Bills win AFL titles in 1964 and `65.

Warlick averaged 19.96 yards per catch in 1963, which still ranks seventh on the team.

Born in Washington, D.C., Warlick grew up in North Carolina and became a two-sport star at North Carolina Central University, where he also played basketball. Before signing with Buffalo, Warlick spent five seasons playing and both receiver and defensive back for Calgary Stampeders in the Canadian Football League. He was a three-time West All-Star.

When he arrived in Buffalo, Warlick immediately caught the eye of coach Lou Saban.

``Saban saw his athletic ability or catching the ball. Plus he was an outstanding blocker, and that's what they used tight ends for a lot back in those days,'' Edgerson recalled. ``So Saban said, `OK, let's stretch the offense and let's make the tight end part of our receiving corps.' And the rest is history.''

Warlick caught an 18-yard touchdown pass from Jack Kemp to open the scoring in Buffalo's 23-0 win over San Diego in the 1965 AFL Championship game. Warlick played at a time when only a few tight ends - Hall of Famer John Mackey in Baltimore and Dave Kocourek in San Diego - were being used in receiving roles.

Warlick remained in Buffalo after his playing days. He worked as a television broadcaster before opening a hamburger stand and eventually landing a job as a sales manager. In 2000, Warlick received the Ralph C. Wilson Distinguished Service award, named after the team owner and honoring players for their service to the Bills.

Warlick is survived by his wife, Louise, three children and five grandchildren.

A visitation will be held at Amigone Funeral Home on Monday. A date for his memorial service has yet to be announced.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game Live Blog


2018 MLB All-Star Game Live Blog

This is the year's most ambitious crossover event in baseball. Dozens of MLB standouts from dozens of teams ally along either the National or American league. The two teams play against each other in a lighthearted frankensquad matchup. It's a welcome change of pace, considering how stressed we are about the Nationals' win percentage.

At the moment, we're keeping our eyes to the sky to monitor incoming rain. Aside from the threat of rain delay, we're excited to see how things unfold.

TOP 10 - Yikes, uh, so that's two solo home runs, and still no outs?

BOT 9 - A lot of people have either Bad Bunny or Post Malone as their walk up music. Also, uh, Scooter did a two-run homer, so now we're going to extra innings.

TOP 9 - Nothing is happening. Yawn.

BOT 8 - Yelich homers! We love one Brewer! It's 5-3 AL.

TOP 8 - Segura hits a three-run homer. Cruz adds it to his Instagram story. The AL is up 5-2. Yikes.

TOP 8 - Blackmon is very charming when mic'd up. He's talking about how lonely the outfield is. In other adjacent boredom news, Mike Trout follows over 145 weather related accounts on twitter. Yes, we went through his 2,400 user long following list to check.

BOT 7 - Bottoms tend to be the most exciting. Arenado knows this. So he tied it with a solo homer.

TOP 7 - Please, we are all so tired, and this pace is so slow. Votto has a nice tag, Yelich loses a ball in the lights but still makes the out. 

BOT 6 - Everybody Hates The National League. Votto, Yelich, and Blackmon all come up short.

INT 6 - Everyone on the internet and the broadcast loses their minds over Manny Machado.

TOP 6 - Nelson Cruz goes up against pitcher Jeremy Jeffress to start the inning. We take a brief pause for another selfie. Isn't it kind of a bad idea to have your phone in your pocket when you're at bat? Anyway. Bregman hits a double, but is immediately outshined as we go to Manny Machado for an interview about how it feels to wear an Orioles uniform for (maybe) the last time. Limor pinch hits for Machado, and doesn't quite get it out of the park. Oh well.

BOT 5 - Contreras gets a hit off Jose Berrios and promptly gets tagged first. Javier Baez looks amazing at the plate, but flies out. Arenado walks. Trout-man catches Molina's almost-homer. NL, do better please.

TOP 5 - Aaron Nola strikes out Brandon Crawford fairly easily and Mookie Betts not so easily. Mike Trout, who looks like he would post pictures with trout and other fish on Instagram, pops up and across the first base line. Sorry AL.

BOT 4 - Bryce Harper faces Blake Snell and strikes out for the second time tonight. Maybe he thought tonight was a Strikeout Derby?

TOP 4 - Machado pops up to the third baseman in what may be his final at-bat wearing an Orioles uniform.

TOP 4 - Matt Kemp deftly avoids tampering charges when the FOX broadcast crew asks him about his selfie with Machado.

BOT 2 - Manny begins acquainting himself with his LA teammates.

BOT 2 - Chris Sale only stuck around for one inning, apparently. It's Luis Severino time in D.C. He allows a double from Matt Kemp to start but then strikes out Bryce Harper. 

TOP 2 - Aaron Judge takes Scherzer deep. 1-0 AL. Sigh.

BOT 1 - AL Starter Chris Sale responds with a scoreless frame of his own. We're on our way to that 3-2 thriller after all!!! 

TOP 1 - Scherzer strikes out Mookie Betts and Jose Altuve before walking Mike Trout (can't blame him) and allowing a hit to J.D. Martinez. No damage done though, and it's 0-0. 


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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

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Manny Machado trade rumors are dominating headlines at All-Star Game

Manny Machado could very well be playing in his final game in an Orioles uniform Tuesday night when he takes the field for the 89th Midsummer Classic at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. 

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the Dodgers are now in the driver's seat as a favorite to land the All-Star shortstop. 

Machado, 26, has gone back and forth on what he does and does not know as front office deals develop and speculation continues to grow. One thing he has made clear is that the rumors have not detracted from his enjoyment of being an All-Star.

Machado is signed through the end of the season, but the Orioles intend to deal him before the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

For the latest news and conversation surrounding Machado's status and the Orioles, follow along on Twitter


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