Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sammy Baugh's Weird, Wonderful Wikipedia Page

Sammy Baugh's Wikipedia page has a weird historical quirk--scratch that, a million weird historical quirks. He was a QB, a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee in 1963 and is one of the Redskins' greatest players. But check this out:
-Baugh was a three-sport athlete at TCU, and was offered a job as a football coach at TCU after his senior year. Instead, he signed a minor-league contract with the St. Louis Cardinals before getting discouraged and turning to football. He was then drafted sixth overall in 1937.
-As the sixth overall pick, he got a one-year contract.
-Per Wikipedia, on being drafted by the Redskins, he said "I didn't know what they were talking about, because frankly, I had never heard of either the draft or the Washington Redskins." I will pray every day from now until the 2015 draft that someone says this during the pre-draft craziness.
-He also said this: "I didn't know how much pro players were making, but I thought they were making pretty good money. So I asked Mr. Marshall for $8,000, and I finally got it. Later I felt like a robber when I found out what Cliff Battles and some of those other good players were making. I'll tell you what the highest-priced boy in Washington was getting the year before—not half as much as $8,000! Three of them—Cliff Battles, Turk Edwards and Wayne Millner—got peanuts, and all of 'em in the Hall of Fame now. If I had known what they were getting I'd have never asked for $8,000."
-The government's CPI inflation calculator runs that to about $132,140.00 in modern dollars. IN THE MIDDLE OF THE GREAT DEPRESSION.
-Playing both ways, he once threw four touchdown passes and picked off four enemy passes IN THE SAME GAME. In 1943, which might as well be 943, he led the league in completion percentage (55.6%), interceptions (11), and punting average (45.9 yards); the top in the NFL in 2013 was 48.9 by a guy who plays in Oakland, so, you know, not bad. He also holds the best all-time single-season average, 51.4 yards.
-On Halloween 1943 vs. the Brooklyn Dodgers, he became the first player to ever throw for six touchdowns; he did it again on "Sammy Baugh Day" in 1947 vs. the Cardinals, amassing 355 yards. In 1947.
-Weirdest of all: he was a five-time All-Star, five-time All-Pro, two-time Player of the Year (some kind of primitive MVP award) and led the league in passing six times, which only Steve Young has ever matched, and is in the Hall of Fame... but only made one Pro Bowl in his career. (It was discontinued in 1942 and revived only in 1950.) Also, the Pro Bowl used to be the defending champions against the rest of the league's all-stars, which, why can't we have that nowadays????? That'd be amazing!

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