Sammy Baugh was the first NFL quarterback to play largely in the same way that quarterbacks of today play. He was included in the first group of players that were elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Baugh was also a stellar college football player, playing for the Texas Christian University Horned Frogs. In college, as well as the NFL, Baugh excelled at numerous positions including quarterback, defensive back and punter. In fact, upon Baugh’s retirement from the game he held a number of career records for all three positions.
Slingin’ Sammy Baugh, a nickname he received while playing college baseball, was drafted in the first round of the 1937 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins with the sixth overall pick. He made an immediate impact on the entire NFL when as a rookie he set the record for completions in a season and also was the league leader in passing yards. During his sixteen year career with the Redskins, Baugh would be selected to six Pro bowls and the team would win two championships. By the time he retired, Sammy Baugh would own almost every quarterback record available, he would also hold a number of records set in his role of punter and defensive back as well. Following his retirement, Baugh would venture into coaching at both the college and professional levels.
Interesting facts about Sammy Baugh:
-Sammy Baugh played sixteen seasons in the NFL and in nine of those seasons he was the league leader in pass completion percentage.
-During his rookie season, Sammy Baugh was the league leader in the following passing categories: pass attempts, pass completions, completion percentage, passing yards, touchdown percentage, interception percentage, yards per pass attempt, yards per completion, passing yards per game, and quarterback rating.
-To this day, Sammy Baugh holds the record for the highest yards per punt average in a season with a 51.4 yard average in 1940.
-As a sign of his all-around excellence at several positions, Sammy Baugh is the only player ever to lead the league in passing, punting, and interceptions in one season.
-For a short time following his retirement from football Sammy Baugh became an actor, starring in a 12-week serial called King of the Texas Rangers. His co-star in this matinee serial was Duncan Renaldo, who would go on to become famous as television’s Cisco Kid.
-Sammy Baugh spent time playing baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system.
-Sammy Baugh was the first defensive back to intercept four passes in one game.
-Sammy Baugh quarterbacked TCU to a victory over Marquette in the first ever Cotton Bowl in 1937.
-For five consecutive seasons, from 1940 to 1944, Sammy Baugh had the longest punts of the year, the longest being 85 yards in 1940.
-In sixteen years, Sammy Baugh caught one pass. It happened in 1944 and his one career reception went for a total of zero yards.
-Sammy Baugh only lead the league in touchdown passes twice, but he finished second in the league in that category six other times.