Sammy Baugh, who passed away yesterday at the age of 94, was arguably the greatest Redskin of all time. For obvious reasons, though (i.e., his playing career ended more than fifty years ago), many of us never got to see the man play, and can’t fully appreciate just how remarkable he was.
Tarhog and TK-IV II I at ExtremeSkins hope to change that, with an impressively thorough biography of Baugh, including text, photos, and archival video.
A brief excerpt:
In 1943, Sammy Baugh led the league in interceptions (he picked off opponents 11 times), punting (averaging 46 yds per kick), and passing, but lost to the Bears in the championship after Baugh was knocked from the game with a concussion. Despite these early successes, Baugh didn’t hit his stride until the 1945 season when the Redskins switched to the ‘T formation’. It was only then that Sammy himself began calling the offensive plays. That year, Baugh finished the season with a 70.33 completion percentage, a record that held for many years.
Baugh changed what it was to quarterback in the National Football League forever. Prior to his arrival on the scene, the forward pass was seen as only a trick or gimmick, something you did on 3rd down when you had no other choice. Baugh threw passes on every down, and he changed the course of the NFL forever.
This is an era when we often wonder if athletes of the past could possibly measure up athletically to today’s competitors, but Baugh was so far ahead of his time that there can really be little doubt.