Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Slingin' Sammy Passes Away

When a quarterback like Slingin' Sammy Baugh dies, I guess it's only appropriate to say he "passed away."

Baugh, 94, played his college ball in Fort Worth, Texas, at Texas Christian University. In the NFL, he was a nine-time All-Pro quarterback for the Washington Redskins — although he was one of the greatest all-around players of all time, excelling as a quarterback, defensive back and punter.

"He just finally wore out," his son said.

Although he played in an era when the passing game was seldom used except in desperate situations, Baugh made it a potent part of Washington's offense. In his 16-year career, Baugh completed more than 56% of his passes for more than 21,000 yards and 203 TDs, leading Washington to five NFL East titles and two NFL championships.

His jersey number is the only one the Redskins have ever officially retired.

Baugh was the last surviving inductee from the Hall of Fame's charter class of 1963 — a class of 17 that included George Halas, Red Grange, Bronko Nagurski, Jim Thorpe and Curly Lambeau.

If you're able to watch Sunday's Philadelphia at Washington game, you should. I would be very surprised if the Redskins don't do something to honor Baugh's memory.

And deservedly so.

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