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10 For 80: Sam Baker

Posted by Andrew Walker on May 15, 2012 – 11:12 am

Note: The Redskins Blog will be profiling several former players, coaches and team officials eligible to be voted by you, the fans, in this year’s Redskins 80th Anniversary celebration. To vote for Sam Baker or your 10 other all-timers to join the already-chosen list of the 70 Greatest Redskins, go to http://www.redskins80th.com/

Sam Baker is one of the greatest punters in team history, but it was actually one of his field goals that might be his best moment in a Redskins uniform.

Nicknamed “Sugarfoot,” Baker played five seasons with Washington, entering the league as a 22 year old and then spending three years away from the game before returning for his final four seasons with the team.

 Perhaps Baker’s greatest individual moment was Nov. 8, 1959, when the defending NFL champions Baltimore Colts came to Griffith Stadium looking to continue their three-game winning streak against their rivals, the Redskins.

According to Redskins historian Michael Richman, Baker came on the field to attempt a 46-yard field goal with 12 seconds remaining in the game with the score tied at 24.

He promptly kicked the ball through the uprights, sealing the Redskins’ 27-24 back-and-forth win over the Colts and sending “the fans into delirium as they celebrated the seismic upset,” Richman wrote.

To this day, that win over the Colts is considered one of — if not the No. 1 — greatest upset in Redskins history.

Here’s a look at Baker’s punting and kicking stats while a member of the Washington Redskins:

Baker, who hailed from Corvallis, Ore., would go on to play with the Cleveland Browns (1960-61), Dallas Cowboys (1962-63) and Philadelphia Eagles (1964-69), where he played both fullback and continued his kicking duties.

He was named to the Pro Bowl team in 1965 and 1969 as a member of the Eagles.

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