Dec 18, 2008

Sam "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh (3/17/1914 - 12/17/2008) - R.I.P.

Samuel Adrian Baugh, or "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh as he was known to all those who follow and love professional football, has passed away at the age of 94. Sam Baugh was the last surviving member of the Inaugural Class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
A two-time All-American as a student at Texas Christian University, Sammy Baugh played for the Washington Redskins from 1937 to 1952. When he was drafted he signed an $8,000 contract to become the highest paid player on the team. That money was well-spent, as he led the Redskins to the NFL title in his rookie year and again in 1942.

Baugh was the best all-around player in an era when such versatility was essential. In 1943, he led the league in passing, punting and defensive interceptions. In one game, he threw four touchdown passes and intercepted four as well. He threw six touchdowns passes in a game twice. His 51.4-yard punting average in 1940 is still the NFL record. (AP)

Sam Baugh is often rightly credited with bringing the forward pass to the forefront of the NFL team's offenses.
Baugh still holds Redskins records for career touchdown passes (187) and completion percentage in a season (70.3). His 31 interceptions on defense are third on the team's career list.
He played his entire career without a face mask, and his number 33 is the only number the Redskins have ever retired. Until his last day Sam remained a huge fan of the NFL Football.
"I'll watch it all damn day long," Baugh, who often sprinkled his conversation with mild obscenities, told The Associated Press in a 2002 interview. "I like the football they play. They got bigger boys, and they've also got these damn speed merchants that we didn't have in those days. I'd love to be quarterback this day and time."

The list of records and accomplishments goes on and on. His bust resides in the Pro Football Hall of Fame along with the other greats, and his impact on professional football was immeasurable. Here is a link to his Hall Of Fame Enshrinement speech.

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