Slingin’ Sammy Baugh

Today is St. Paddy’s day, but really…it’s the birthdate of the greatest Quarterback of all-time. 

Samuel ‘Slingin Sammy’ Adrian Baugh. 

Well, the greatest quarterback if you ask a Washington Redskins fan.  Another notable note is that Sammy Baugh was born in Temple, Texas, just a mere 145 miles from my hometown of San Antonio…so, yeah.  Why not, let’s go.

Slingin’ Sammy was beyond impressive on the gridiron.  He led the way in transforming the game of football from a bruising sport led by fullbacks pounding the pig skin to downfield aerial attacks with wideouts.  The game went from three yards and a cloud of dust to the greatest show on turf, mainly due in part to Sammy.  His ability to re-imagine the forward pass as a means of attacking made the game exciting, action packed and brought greater scoring to the game, well…quicker scoring.  Other QB’s did it at this time, but no one did it quite like Sammy.  Sammy was the best.

Beyond being a tremendous quarterback, Sammy was also an accomplished defensive back and quite possibly, his most impressive feat (bad pun…sorry) of being a tremendous punter.  Leading the league in all three positions during the 1943 season.  That year he was the leader in pass completions, punting yard average (46) and interceptions (11).  Who the hell does THAT!!??!  Sammy was truly a three way player, offense, defense, special teams.  Whatever he did, he did it well, well…he achieved greatness in the game that has been unmatched.  Not too many guys in the history of the game have managed to excel on opposing sides of the ball, but Sammy did.  Sammy was the best.

Baugh came to the Boston Redskins via the ’37 draft from Texas Christian University where he excelled at football and baseball.  (Something, I never knew before was that he got the nickname ‘Slingin’ while playing baseball and not lighting  up the Giants and Eagles on Sunday afternoons.)  He was the 6th pick overall that draft, an epic slide for such a phenomenal talent.  He fell behind Sam Francis, Ed Goddard, Buzz Buivid, Ed Widseth and Mike Basrak.  Now, I have no idea where Mel Kiper had him going, but I gotta think his draft slide was kind of a shock for everyone.  He didn’t have that Aaron Rodgers kind of slide, but for five other teams to pass on a franchise quarterback must’ve caused a huge stir at the time.  To that, I say the Redskins franchise were incredibly lucky that day, because…Sammy was the best. 

During his 16 year career (1937-1952) he led the franchise to four football championships winning two of them in 1937 and 1942, both against George Halas’ Chicago Bears.  He was also a seven time all-pro and two-time player of the year, in back to back seasons of 1947 and 1948…essentially consecutive MVP’s.  Pretty impressive, again…Sammy was the best.

The greatness of Slingin Sammy can’t be stated in this blog, but hey, I’ve got some sweet cards to show off and it’s his birthday.  So hope you enjoyed the brief bio and remember…Sammy was the best.   

Thank you for reading and sticking with me, deadlines and life get in the way but man I love this blog.  Mostly for personal reasons, but l love to share as well.  Hope you all enjoy reading.

Let’s go, one more for the road…Slingin’ Sammy Baugh ya’ll!

-Cardboard Hogs

You know who is also the best?  Jay-Z.  Maybe not to the level of Sammy’s greatness, but excellent in his own right.  So, here’s a video of Jay-Z…wearing a Sammy Baugh jersey…because Sammy was the best.

Side jobs and snow days

Today was a snow day, well a partial snow day.  I braved the overnight warnings and headed in to work this morning thinking i could work a few hours before heading back home…i have a looming deadline and was anxious about getting some stuff done.  I’m glad i went in today…about half the office was there, but i was the only one from my project team that made it in…kudos to me!  I tend to be a little stubborn and as my wife was texting me to hurry up and come home before the snow storm actually hit…but i decided to hang out.  Easily distracted and self assured, i ended up waiting until it was quite blustery and everything was becoming white washed for a few moments.  Our ould ’97 Ford Explorer has seen better days and isn’t too fond of climbing hills with snow and some hints of ice on the road.  Needless to say the commute home was a little more treacherous than i like…but i made it home safe and was able to have a few hours with the wife and kid.  We live on a pretty steep drive so sleds are fun this time of year, assuming of course there aren’t any cars coming around the corner!  My son had a blast going down the street a few times and plowed through a couple of trees and once off the edge of a 2′ wall.  I know, i know…i’m a terrible parent, but hey…he had a blast and in his usual voice and candor shouted “I WANNA DO DAT ALL DA TIME DADDY!!!”  How can you resist that?

Not sure what tomorrow holds for weather, but i took advantage of the extra time at home to scan some more cards.  Here are a couple of note.

6-laurie-niemi-a

The first card is Laurie Niemi from the 1952 Bowman set…the large version.  The ’52 cards are some of my favorite football cards of all time.  The full color art work is fantastic and the emotionally intense facial reactions are priceless.  In doing some research over at PSA Cards these were issued as a test run of cards at the same time the “small” version was issued.  Same photos, same backs…just different sizes.  These were more popular and i can see why.  Holding them you can see the great level of art that these cards posses.  I’m a little partial to the small version of these cards…but i’m not gonna be picky here…plus i need these two handsome fellas to complete a set, you know how it goes.

6-laurie-niemi-b

The large cards were printed in a shorter run than the small version and thusly have been difficult for me to find in decent condition.  Still need a few cards to complete the large set…believe i’m done with the small set though.

112-john-badaczewski-a

Bowman produced some great product early on with both baseball and football cards.  I would love to see them do a modern set that reflects the history of this beautiful era of cardboard.

One of the things i love about these cards is the write up on the back.  When athletes today are not working, they are selling something or hopefully doing something positive with their free time.  These older guys though, they sold things and worked in offices.

112-john-badaczewski-b

Mr Badaczewski sold cars in the offseason and taught geography and history.  My high school history teacher was the basketball coach…if he played for the Redskins i may have gotten better grades!  The other thing that is really noticeable is the military service that professional athletes did during this era, in a time when the military is a polarizing subject, i have to admit that it’s quite interesting to see these guys take a break in their careers to provide a service for our country.