I attended my very first professional football game with the Redskins back in 1942. I went to Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., and watched the incredible performance of Slinging Sammy Baugh. He's recognized as the greatest Redskin ever. Sammy Baugh was Washington's folk hero of the late 1930's and 1940's. He passed away this past December 17th at the age of 91.
I was only 10 years old back in 1942 and this was my very first big time football game. I was so excited to see Baugh throw those long passes - he was deadly accurate. In fact, the famous Washington Post sportswriter, Shirley Povich, talked about Sammy Baugh's first meeting with the Redskins coach, Ray Flaherty. He said, "You're in the pro leagues now, Baugh, and these receivers in the pro leagues expect their passers to be good. When they go down the field, our eligible pass receivers want the ball where they can catch it. They want to be hit in the eye. Do you understand that?" to which Baugh was supposed to have said, "Which eye?"
The Washington Post reported, "During 16 seasons with the Washington Redskins, Baugh would direct the team to four division titles and two NFL Championships. He played both offense and defense, as well as special teams. In nine seasons, he led the NFL in completion percentage. Twice he threw six touchdown passes in a single game. His career totals were nearly 1,700 completed passes, 187 for touchdowns. Defending against the pass, he had 31 interceptions. In 1943, he led the NFL in pass completions, in punting and in interceptions. He is the only player ever to lead the league in offensive, defensive and special teams categories." What a triple threat he was.
Although because of Church activities I've been severely restricted from Sunday football games, I'll always remember the great Slinging Sammy Baugh back in 1942.
I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.