LeBaron on a 1953 Bowman football card
|Date of birth:||January 7, 1930|
|Place of birth:||San Rafael, California|
|Date of death:||April 1, 2015(aged 85)|
|Place of death:||Stockton, California|
|Height:||5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)|
|Weight:||168 lb (76 kg)|
|High school:||Oakdale High School|
|NFL draft:||1950 / Round: 10 / Pick: 123|
|Career highlights and awards|
Career NFL statistics
Stats at NFL.com
|Stats at pro-football-reference.com|
LeBaron was born in San Rafael, California and graduated from Oakdale High School in Oakdale, California and went on to the College of the Pacific (now the University of the Pacific). He played there from 1946 to 1949, lettering all four years and achieving All-American honors in 1949 after leading them to an undefeated season. He was a two-way, 60 minute player, as a quarterback on offense, safety on defense, and punter on special teams.
LeBaron was commissioned in the Marine Corps reserves while in college and served as a lieutenant in the Korean War after graduation. He was wounded twice and was decorated with the Purple Heart. For his heroic actions on the front lines, he was awarded the Bronze Star. Due to his diminutive size, 5 feet, 7 inches, and leadership skills from his military service, he was sometimes known as the "Littlest General".
In 2008, he was inducted into the United States Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame.
Washington Redskins (first stint)
He returned to the NFL in 1952 after being released from his commitment to the United States Marine Corps. That year he replaced future hall of famer Sammy Baugh in the starting lineup after the fourth game of the season and received All-Rookie honors.
Calgary Stampeders (CFL)
In 1954, the Canadian Football League began to raid the NFL talent, signing LeBaron and his teammate Gene Brito from the Redskins roster. He signed with the Calgary Stampeders because his college coach, Larry Siemering from the College of the Pacific, was the head coach. He registered recorded 1,815 passing yards, 8 touchdowns and 24 interceptions during the season. He also played defensive back and punter. He eventually decided to return to the NFL at the end of the year.
Washington Redskins (second stint)
In his seven seasons with the Redskins he started 55 of a possible 72 games at quarterback (he played in 70 of those 72 games). He was also the primary punter for his first three seasons with Washington (he would punt 171 times for a total of 6,995 yards in five NFL season, with 164 of those coming in 1952, 1953, and 1955).
After not being able to participate in the 1960 NFL draft during their inaugural year of existence, the Dallas Cowboys traded their first round draft choice in the 1961 NFL Draft to the Washington Redskins in exchange for LeBaron, who would become the franchise's first starting quarterback.
He was the starting quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys for their first three seasons, 1960 to 1962. LeBaron started 10 of 12 games in 1960, with the rookie Don Meredith starting one and Don Heinrich starting the other. He also scored the Cowboys' first-ever touchdown in their first exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers, on August 6, 1960 in Seattle. LeBaron started 10 of 14 games in 1961, with the young Don Meredith starting the other four. He only started five games in the 1962 season, but split time with Don Meredith almost evenly. He started the first game of the 1963 season, but was replaced permanently by Meredith for the rest of the season, with LeBaron becoming Meredith's backup.
He retired at the end of 1963, after playing 12 seasons, throwing for 13,399 yards and 104 touchdowns. He was selected for the Pro Bowl four times in 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1962. The shortest quarterback to ever be selected to the Pro Bowl, LeBaron was known primarily as a ball-handler and elusive scrambler.
LeBaron set an NFL record for the shortest touchdown pass in league history. His scoring throw to receiver Dick Bielski, against the Washington Redskins on October 9th, 1960 came from the 2-inch line.
LeBaron became a football announcer for CBS Sports after his NFL career, and worked as an announcer from 1966 to 1971. He had obtained a law degree during his off-seasons from football, and practiced law after his football career. He was also the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons from 1977 to 1982 and executive vice president from 1983 through 1985. LeBaron was an avid golfer and continued to play golf in his retirement.
He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1980, into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and was a charter inductee into the Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame in October 2010. He died on April 1, 2015.
- "Eddie LeBaron". National Football Foundation. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- "Whatever happened to... Eddie LeBaron". Washington Redskins. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- "FOOTBALL AND AMERICA: The Korean War". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- Eddie LaBaron. - Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- 1960 Dallas Cowboys: Passing. - Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- 1961 Dallas Cowboys: Passing. - Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- 1962 Dallas Cowboys: Passing. - Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- 1963 Dallas Cowboys: Passing. - Pro-Football-Reference.com.
- "Top 10 Moments in the Giants-Cowboys Rivalry". The New York Times. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- "THE NFL ON CBS ALL-TIME ANNOUNCERS LIST (Year-By-Year)". CBS Express. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- "Whatever happened to... Eddie LeBaron". Washington Times. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "Greatest Redskins". NFL.com. Retrieved October 20, 2013.
- "Hall of Fame Inductees". Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
- "Sac-Joaquin Section announces inaugural Hall of Fame class". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved October 19, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Eddie LeBaron.|
- Eddie LeBaron at Pro-Football-Reference.com
- LeBaron in The Korean War
- From War Hero to NFL QB, Eddie LeBaron Had A Successful Journey
- Gallery of Eddie LeBaron football cards