When former Chicago Bears quarterback Sid Luckman comes to Washington today to be inducted into the recently formed National Quarterback Hall of Fame, his friend, and the other inductee, won't be there.
But while former Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh, 72, remains in Texas to look after his health, Luckman can fall back on the memories of playing against "one of the greatest athletes that ever walked on the football field.
"Both of us being inducted sort of makes me feel wonderful," said Luckman, 69, in a telephone interview yesterday. "It's going to hurt me badly that he isn't going to be there. I hadn't seen him since a TV show we did together in California a few years ago."
Said Baugh yesterday via telephone: "Sid and I knew each other before we started playing ball. I always thought he was one of the finest people I knew. When we passed each other on the field, there was always a kind word."
The ceremony making Luckman and Baugh the first members of the hall will highlight the Quarterback Club's 20th Anniversary Awards Dinner tonight a tthe Washington Hilton. Two quarterbacks will be inducted each year.
The club also will present awards to other top quarterbacks in the country and area this year. They are Jim McMahon of the Chicago Bears, Chuck Long of the University of Iowa, Stan Gelbaught of the University of Maryland, Jeff George of Indianapolis' Warren Central High School and Philip Barnhill of Archbishop Carroll High School.
In coming to Washington, Luckman, who was recognized as the first quarterback to master the T-formation and who was a five-time all-pro in his 12 seasons, couldn't help but recall the Bears' 73-0 annihilation of baugh's Washington Redskins in the 1940 championship game at Griffith Stadium.
"I just want you to know," he said, excitement evident in his voice. "It's bringing back great memories.
"They beat us, 7-0, a few weeks before, and we wanted to show we were the better team. Prior to the game, I never saw a team so intense. You could feel the tension in the air. When we came on the train to practice at Griffith Stadium, the guys weren't talking or playing cards."
Said Baugh, "They beat the hell out of us."