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Texas legend, Sammy Baugh passes at 94

Slingin' Sammy Baugh died Wednesday night at Fisher County Hospital near his ranch in Rotan, Texas after a lengthy battle with Alzheimer's disease and recent kidney-related health issues.

Sammy, born in 1914 in Temple, Texas was one of the true football legends - a man that succeeded at every level, including his start as a a multi-sport standout at Sweetwater high school in the early '30s. His gridiron prowess went well beyond high school and included success at every possible level.

He played college football for the Horned Frogs at Texas Christian University, where he was a two-time All-American. He then played in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins from 1937 to 1952. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the 17-member charter class of 1963.

After his playing career, Baugh became head coach at Hardin-Simmons University and was there from 1955 to 1959, compiling a 23–28 record. Then he was the first coach of the New York Titans of the American Football League from 1960 to 1961, with a record of 14–14. He then became an assistant coach at the University of Tulsa in 1963 under head coach Glenn Dobbs. In 1964, Baugh was the coach of the AFL's Houston Oilers.

Sammy will be best remembered for his gregarious and witty personality, but the advancements and accolades he brought to football should not be overlooked. Originally nicknamed "Slingin'" Sammy Baugh because of his skills in baseball, he came to fit that name perfectly in football. In an era filled with teams that pounded the ball straight up the middle, he stood out with his revolutionary prowess throwing the ball. He redefined the passing game in the NFL. He was much more than a passer though, one season he led the league in passing, defensive interceptions and punting. In one game, he threw four touchdown passes and intercepted four passes. Oh, and he still holds at least one punting record in the NFL.

Sammy Baugh was the definition of a Texas high school football legend and we salute the man on an amazing 94 years both on and off the field.

Chris Doelle
Lone Star Gridiron

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