Back in February, I noted the 75th anniversary of the Redskins moving from Boston to D.C. by digging through The Post’s archives.
That prompted my one (1) reader who loves these stories from the archives to e-mail me and ask that I do the same thing with the 75th anniversary of the team drafting Sammy Baugh.
But that turns out to be kind of a complicated thing. Baugh was drafted in the winter, signed in the spring, and finally committed to play in the summer. Still, because things are so darn slow right now, let me choose this week — the 75th anniversary of Baugh signing with the Skins, in early June of 1937 — to commemorate the occasion.
The picture above ran with the coverage, although that Post photo of Baugh and George Marshall was actually from the previous winter.
The story itself ran on page 16, the Sports front, under a banner headline: “Baugh Definitely Signs for Pro Football Career With Washington Redskins,” and also “Tigers Pound Appleton and Linke, Swamp Nats, 10-3.”
(The lead sports photo, by the way, was of skeet shooters, with the headline “Leading Marksmen of East Gather Here For Skeet Tourney Today.”)
The rest of the sports front included an AP story on War Admiral being favored at the Belmont Stakes, a column about a baseball controversy involving Dizzy Dean and Ford Frick, a preview of a boys track meet at Central High, an AP update on Max Schmeling agreeing to fight the winner of James J. Braddock and Joe Louis, and the previously mentioned Nats game story, which described the Tigers as “obstreperous” while “savagely mauling” two Washington pitchers.
The Skeet meet, by the way, was contested at the National Capital Skeet Club on Bradley Boulevard. The winner would receive the sterling Bushmill Cup “and a case of Bushmill whisky. If winner is a minor the whiskey goes to the runner-up.”
They sure got some things right in the ‘30s.
Anyhow, as for the Baugh news story?
“ ‘Slingin’ Sam’ Baugh, 180 pounds of All-American football player from Texas Christian University, last night definitely cast his lot with the Washington Redskins for a professional gridiron career,” began the NFL dispatch from Lewis F. Atchison.
“A telegram from Owner George Marshall, now in Texas, ended a lengthy period of doubt as to Baugh’s plans for the future. The pair discussed salary at a meeting here last winter, but the terms agreed on were not disclosed. Baugh at that time was also considering a coaching berth or a possible baseball career.
“Marshall, an astute business man, is believed to have offered him an option of $350 per game, or a flat salary of $6,000 for the season. At the firm’s local office it was said that Baugh would be one of the league’s highest paid performers.
“Acknowledged as the game’s greatest forward passer, an All-American for two years — last year a unanimous choice — and a colorful player, Baugh will be a valuable asset to the Washington club both at the box office and on the playing field. His name was a household byword during the past football season, and his name almost revered among aspiring young football players.
“During his three years of varsity play at T.C.U., Baugh acquired his reputation as the game’s most accurate passer by an almost uncanny ability to throw the ball. During the three years he played in the ‘Horned Frogs’ backfield he tossed 599 passes and completed 274 for total gains of 3,479. His passes accounted for 39 touchdowns in all.
“Although out of the line-up for a time because of injuries last season, it was one of his best years. He finished the season and his collegiate career in brilliant style against Marquette in the Sugar Bowl game, completing 5 of 13 passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
“Baugh’s home is in Sweetwater, Tex. He is 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighs 180 pounds and has a nice personality. He should go places in the pro game.”
The New York Times also noted the occasion, with a brief AP dispatch. The full text:
“ ‘Slingin Sammy’ Baugh, star quarterback with the Texas Christian University eleven last Fall, has signed a professional contract for next season with the Washington Redskins, club officials said today.”