Famed NFL athletic trainer Eddie Abramoski dies at age 88

The professional sports world lost a legend last week with the death of renowned Buffalo Bills athletic trainer Eddie Abramoski, who passed at the age of 88, according to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

One of the best-loved figures in the history of the Bills franchise, “Abe,” as he was known, spent an impressive 37 years with the organization going all the way back to its first American Football League (AFL) game in the Fall of 1960.

A native of Erie, Pennsylvania, Abramoski won a scholarship to play football at Purdue University, though an injury in his second season brought his career as player to an abrupt end.

After graduating, however, his attentions turned to building a career as an athletic trainer, with stints at the University of Detroit, the U.S. Military Academy, as well as for the NFL’s Detroit Lions.

During his time with the Lions, Abramoski first made the life-changing acquaintance of former Bills owner Ralph Wilson, who at the time was a part owner of the Detroit squad. Wilson’s interest in purchasing an expansion team was repeatedly thwarted, and he ultimately opted to make a move into the fledgling AFL by establishing a franchise in Buffalo.

Abe joined newly-named head coach Buster Ramsey on the team’s staff, working not just as an athletic trainer, but as a jack-of-all trades on behalf of the Bills. “We did everything that 15 or 16 guys do now. We rented a Hertz truck, the players packed their own bags and we physically threw them up. We drove the truck, threw the stuff on the plane, got the truck when we got back, did the same thing.”

“Did the laundry, cleaned the locker room, cut the grass at the old Camelot where the team trained. Fertilized, put the fence up, painted the locker room. It was fun, we used to laugh, Abramoski once said, detailing the variety of duties he undertook.

Celebrated in the world of professional football, Abramoski went on to be inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame and the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame, Abramoski was praised by Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., who said “the loyalty, dedication and professionalism of Eddie Abramoski is as unfailing today as it was the deay he joined our organization in 1960.”

As the man himself once declared, “I worked hard, tried to do the best job I could. I survived a lot of coaches and I’d like to think I did a decent job and the organization paid me back far more,” and it is difficult for anyone to ask for more from their career.