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!
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.