Milt Northrop

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Renowned Buffalo News Sportswriter

There was a time in Milt Northrop’s life when astronomy captivated his interest, but then sports entered the picture. As the oldest in a family of seven children, he was the one his father let tag along at age three to his basketball practices and games, bowling matches and baseball games. It wasn’t long before Milt soon became fascinated with sports and its trappings.

One of his father’s jobs was directing traffic at Yale football and baseball games. Milt sold programs at football games and was the visiting batboy for teams that came to play Yale. He was there in 1947 for one of Babe Ruth’s last public appearances before his death that summer. He recalls being introduced to brothers, Seymour and Northrup Knox, who were Yale students at the time.

After beginning his career in Connecticut, Milt moved to Buffalo in 1967 when he was hired by The Buffalo Evening News as a sports copy editor. His diverse reporting and coverage talents were soon recognized by Charley Young, the late sports editor of The News and he began to split his duties between reporting and the copy desk.

When the Buffalo Braves came to town in 1970 he was assigned to the beat and remained with it through the NBA team’s entire existence. He covered the Braves exciting climb from the basement to the playoffs, which included an intense rivalry with the Boston Celtics.

After the Braves departure, Milt spent the next two years on the Bills beat, while covering an occasional Sabres game. However, mainly he was responsible for putting out The News’ weekly sports tabloid section on Saturday.

In 1980 it was back to reporting on the Bills and Sabres beats, backing up Mike Dodd in football and veteran hockey reporter Dick Johnston. Before then, his Sabres coverage had included the 1974 playoff series against Montreal – when Rene Robert’s memorable game five overtime goal brought the series back to the Aud – and the 1975 Stanley Cup finals against the Philadelphia Flyers with the infamous bat and the phantom fog.

In 1981, Milt began a 10-year run as the lead reporter on the Bills beat. He covered the ascension of the Bills from 2-14 cellar dwellers to the formation of the powerhouse teams of the 1990’s.

When Vic Carucci was named the lead Bills reporter in 1991, Milt continued to cover pro football and the Bills’ Super Bowl appearances, while adding Sabres hockey, local college sports and even the Buffalo professional roller hockey team to his responsibilities.

He moved back to primary duty on the sports copy desk in 2000, but has kept his hand in writing as the paper’s bowling columnist since 2005 and has written a Sunday NFL column for more than six years.