Sammy Baugh Passes On

by Benjamin Domenech on 8:35 pm December 17, 2008

Slingin Sammy Baugh – the greatest two-way quarterback who ever lived – has died at age 94.

The only quarterback to ever lead the league in touchdowns, defensive takeaways, and punting (he still holds the NFL record for highest career punting average), Sam Baugh once threw four touchdowns and intercepted four passes (he was the first to ever do that) in the same game. The skinny Texan (6’2, 175) with a heavy drawl had famous tilts running the double wing against the Bears – he once left the Championship Game with a concussion after a particularly brutal tackle of Sid Luckman – was the sports rivalry of the forties. He played for 16 years, all without a facemask. He won the passing title six times, a record that has only been tied once, and never beaten.

After returning home in 1952, he got a few coaching jobs, then retired to his 6,000 acre ranch. His wife Edmonia died in 1990, after 52 years of marriage. In the years since, he welcomed hundreds of passersby to his home, regaling them with tales of the old days of the gridiron.

Sam Baugh’s number, 33, remains the only one the Redskins have ever officially retired.

(Read an on-scene account of Baugh’s style from 1937 here.)

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