December 17, 2008
RIP, Sammy Baugh

Sammy Baugh, one of the all-time great football players, has died at the age of 94.

Sammy Baugh, who set numerous passing records with the Washington Redskins in an era when NFL teams were running most every down, died Wednesday night, his son said. Baugh, who was 94 and had numerous health issues, died at Fisher County Hospital in Rotan, David Baugh said.

David Baugh said his father had battled Alzheimer's and dementia for several years. He had been ill recently with kidney problems, low blood pressure and double pneumonia.

"It wasn't the same Sam we all knew," his son told The Associated Press. "He just finally wore out."

Sammy Baugh was the last surviving member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame's inaugural class.

After starring at TCU, "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh played with the Redskins from 1937 to 1952.

While he was noted for his passing, Baugh was one of the best all-around players of his day. One season he led the league in passing, defensive interceptions and punting. In one game, he threw four touchdown passes and intercepted four passes. He threw six touchdowns in a game -- twice -- and kicked an 85-yard punt.


Baugh still holds Redskins records for career touchdown passes (187) and completion percentage in a season (70.3). His 31 interceptions on defense are third on the team's career list. He still owns the league mark for single-season punting average (51.4).

Baugh was to the NFL what Babe Ruth was to baseball - a revolutionary player who did things no one else had ever done before, and changed the game forever. To me, his punting record is the most amazing thing about him, though the single season completion percentage is close. Prior to this year, no one had averaged fifty yards per punt over the course of a season. That record may never be broken. Truly, a one-of-a-kind player. Rest in peace, Sammy Baugh. Thanks to Banjo for the heads up.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 17, 2008 to Other sports

Another interesting note about Sammy Baugh, was that Robert Duvall lived with him and studied his mannerisms for a brief time while researching his role in the Epic series "Lonesome Dove". Duvall chose Baugh as the quintessential rancher/cowboy type that epitomized the West. Specifically it was the hand gestures, and talking with his hands, that Duvall picked up on and crafted his character with. RIP Slingin' Sammy!

Posted by: TAN on December 23, 2008 9:54 PM
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