CHFF reader and WWII vet: Baugh the best ever
Cold, Hard Football Facts for Dec 21, 2008
Ed. note: Got a lot of nice feedback on the Sammy Baugh articles we published last week, especially from some of the old-timers out there, but this was probably the best because it comes a very special reader, at least in our eyes: World War II Marine Corps veteran Jerry McConnell. We thought it deserved its own space this week.
As a U. S. Marine, I returned to the U. S. from the South Pacific war against the Japanese in November 1943 and was stationed in a Naval Hospital in St. Albans, NY. In March of 1944 I was transferred to Headquarters Marine Corps Guard Battalion in Washington, DC. That was when I learned how good Sammy Baugh was as a two-way football player for the Washington Redskins.
The Griffith family (owners of the Senator's and the city's major league ball park) allowed any military person into Griffith Stadium who was wearing the uniform. I rarely missed a Redskins home game in the following years.
I remained in the Washington, DC area until 1952, leaving when Sammy Baugh finished his remarkably outstanding football career.
I had never seen any player before that time, and I have never seen any player since that time that could equal the overall skills of Sammy Baugh. He was one of a kind, and in my opinion, the greatest professional football player in the history of the game.
How many players today can play both sides of the game on a full-time basis? Troy Brown came close but not anywhere clost to the numbers Baugh put up.
I am 84 years old and I know there will never be an equal to Mr. Baugh. Red Grange and Jim Thorpe are also legends who stand out, but Sammy Baugh was all alone at the top.
Thanks for publishing his story. - Jerry McConnell
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