Remembering Sammy Baugh


The flags were at half-staff outside Redskins Park today, to commemorate the passing of Sammy Baugh, which got me poking around to see what other Baugh memorabilia I could find.

Some of it was obvious — the Hall of Fame picture that I posted earlier, for example, or the picture of the 1937 championship team that sits just inside the entryway.


But there were other things better hidden, including some that I never turned up. Colt Brennan, for example, has the 2006 Sammy Baugh Trophy tucked away somewhere. (Brennan, actually, is a bit of a fan of the slingin’ QB with the funky delivery — I had all but forgotten him watching the Baugh footage at the Hall of Fame this summer.)

And Director of Sports Medicine Bubba Tyer noted, “I have a ball he signed, but it’s in storage.”

What wasn’t in storage was the signed replica helmet that sits on Tyer’s desk.


Tyer is something of a Sammy Baugh buff, passing along stories he’s heard of Baugh throwing footballs to the crowds that would gather outside the team hotel during his heyday. “People thought they were just giving balls away, but they would actually put Redskins players in the crowd and Sammy would throw the ball to them so they could bring them back,” Tyer says.

Tyer was also the one who told me about Robert Duvall modeling his character in Lonesome Dove on Baugh, and explained that in the 38 years he’s been here, Baugh had never made the trip to D.C.

“I never met him,” Tyer says, and shakes his head. “Me and the team doctors used to talk about it – ‘We’re gonna go, we’re gonna drive’ – but even after the flight to Dallas, it’s was an eight hour drive out to Rotan where he lived, and we never made it.”



6 Responses

  1. Yup, when all is said and done. CB5 could not have been chosen by a more appropriate NFL team. Slinging Sammy might even be smiling right now.

    Thanks for the memories, Matt!
    Hail to the Redskins!

  2. My father John Arban Jr and Grandfather John Arban Sr. Both met Sammy Baugh at Griffith Stadium… Sammy met my dad down on the field and gave him his leather football helmet. I have that helmet to this day. It sits on my credenza in my office along with some photos of me with Roy Jefferson and Charlie Taylor that I had signed as a kid at the McDonalds in McLean Va. We have been skins fans and held season tickets since Griffith Stadium. My grandfather also was the precast concrete contractor that built RFK and Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Arban and Carosi Precast Concrete. We miss those stadiums… That was football!

  3. Are the Redskins planning any tributes to Sammy Baugh, like a moment of Silence at the next home game, or wearing of a uniform patch or helmet sticker with “33” on it ,in honor of him? I know Sam was somewhat of a recluse, declining to attend Redskins games or meet with NFL officials. I remember a NFL Films feature on Mr. Baugh some years back, showcasing his talents, achievements, records, and a rare interview with him. Hopefully, NFL network will re-run this video gem soon, and give him the praise and respect he deserves, again. Slinging Sammy Baugh was one of the early stars of the NFL, one of a kind person, and a multi-talented player. Thanks Sam, for many years of greatness, and uniqueness like no other Redskin. Rest in peace; God be with you.

  4. No question about it Sammy was the greatest Redskin. True, he never came back to Washington, but one of the best pieces I have seen on him was when Sonny Jurgenson visited him at his ranch several years ago. He was still Sammy Baugh and still a character. Though he played a long time ago, he was one of the greatest to ever play.

  5. Quite a contrast between the articles in yesterday’s paper and again today covering Sammy B and Devin Thomas.

    Two rookies.

    One, Sammy, comes in plays QB, DB, and punter….leads Redskins to championship……for all of $8500!

    The other, Devin T, comes in out of shape, poor study habits, and a big ME attitude. Didn’t get it. By article today, still Doen’t get it. Will he get it? The jury is out on that big time.

    Beyond the individual…I see this as an organizational failure. What did the coaches/team do when DT and other key draft choices got off to a rocky start? Did onyone sit these guys down and enforce some kind of study hall? What did veterans do when they observed these new arrivals struggling? What did the organization do to help get these rookies adjusted to the real world?

    Given the total bust of this group, in which the organization, had such high stakes…what does this say about Vinnie C…AND….receivers coach Stan Hixon? Hixon could not get anything out of Brandon Lloyd over two years. Was that all BL or is there a coaching issue with the receivers?

    Lots to think about but when you look at this bust at receiver….the individual, the coaches, the players and the organization should be asking alot of internally focused questions.

  6. In 1995 i was a semi pro kicker and punter with the washington chiefs of the mfl and my grandfather knew sammy real good in the 1940s so i would call sam at his ranch in rotan and we talk for hours the night before my game about punting techniques and he would tell me about guys on the team and the championships that the skins won and lost. He loved to talk and we would laugh for hours! I love that guy and in my rookie year i was named ROOKIE of the year .I just want say thanks sam your where my hero and i love very much!! RIP and ill see when i get there .REDSKINS is more than football its a famliey and im glad im a fan of the skins. GO skins! and peace to all of you.

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