Sam Baker (halfback)
Loris Hoskins Baker (November 12, 1930 – June 5, 2007), was an American football player in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. While he played several positions, he was best known for being a punter and kicker. He played college football at Oregon State University.
|No. 45, 49, 38|
|Born:||November 12, 1930|
San Francisco, California
|Died:||June 5, 2007 (aged 76)|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||Corvallis (Corvallis, Oregon)|
|NFL Draft:||1952 / Round: 11 / Pick: 133|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Baker attended Stadium High School, before transferring after his junior year to Corvallis High School where he graduated in 1949. He was an all-around standout in track, but at the time there wasn't a state decathlon championship, so he only participated in individual events.
As a sophomore, he rushed for 668 yards (fourth in the conference). As a junior, he rushed for 830 yards (second in the conference). In his career at Oregon State University, Baker gained 2,043 yards on 487 carries and was the school record-holder in both categories when he left. He was voted most valuable player by teammates for three straight years.
He currently ranks eighth in career yards, and sixth in career carries. He had five 100-yard games, with a best of 159 on 30 carries in the 1951 Civil War game at Hayward Field. He scored the final touchdown at old Bell Field in the final 1952 home game
In 1980, he was inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991, he was inducted into the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame.
Los Angeles RamsEdit
Baker was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the eleventh round (133rd overall) of the 1952 NFL Draft with a future draft pick, which allowed the team to draft him before his college eligibility was over. On July 6, 1953, his draft rights were sold to the Washington Redskins.
In 1956, although he was initially being considered for the right halfback position, he was asked to become the team's kicker after Vic Janowicz suffered a serious brain injury in an automobile accident that ended his athletic career. That same year he also became the punter after Eddie LeBaron was sidelined with an injury. He was given the nickname "Sugarfoot", after leading the NFL in field goals (17), starting an 11-year streak of averaging at least 40 yards per punt attempt and being named to the Pro Bowl.
In 1958, his 45.4-yard punting average was the best in the league, while he still managed to convert 25 extra points in 25 attempts. On April 25, 1960, he was traded to the Cleveland Browns in exchange for Fran O'Brien and Robert Khayat.
In 1960, he relinquished his fullback duties with the Cleveland Browns and would replace the retired Groza. He led the NFL in extra points made (44) and extra points attempted (46). He posted a 42-yard punting average.
In 1961, Groza returned to the team after his back felt better and Baker focused only on punting. He was the league's eighth ranked punter with an average of 43.3-yards per punt. On December 30, he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for cornerback Tom Franckhauser.
In 1962, he set the team record of 45.4 yards-per-punt that was not broken until 2006 by Mat McBriar with a 48.2-yard average. He also set club records for most points scored in a season (92), longest field goal (53 yards) and longest punt (72 yards). He was the NFL leader in extra points made (50), extra points attempted (51), ranked third in punting average and sixth in scoring.
Baker played two seasons as a punter and kicker for the Dallas Cowboys, until his disregard for the team rules and discipline wore thin with head coach Tom Landry. In both years he led the league in net punting average. He also became the first player in club history to have 2 seasons with a 44-yard or better gross punting average.
Baker died because of complications with diabetes on June 5, 2007.
- "Highlights". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Notes From Quite a Few Corners". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Sam Baker Illustrates He Can Do Both Types Of Pro Kicking". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Eagles' Baker ('Call me Sam') Has No Kicks". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "The Scoreboard". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "West Outkicks East Pro Stars". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-25. Retrieved 2007-06-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) NFL Scoring Leaders
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2003-08-01. Retrieved 2007-06-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) NFL Punting Leaders
- "Browns get place kicker Sam Baker". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Cleveland's Great Kicking Star Retires". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Punter Baker Traded for End". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Tom Mcdonald Joins Cowboys". Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- "Eagles Give Sam Baker The Boot". Retrieved January 7, 2018.