Doc Baker

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Doc Baker
Akron indians football 1908.jpg
The 1908 Akron Indians, Baker is the first player in the back row, left side.
Position: Halfback
Personal information
Born: Unknown
Died: c. early 1920s
Career information
College: None
Career history

Charles "Doc" Baker was an early professional American football halfback for the Akron Indians of the "Ohio League" from 1906-1908. He returned to the team for one last season in 1911. He was the second-ever African American to play professional football, the first being Charles Follis. Baker, earned his nickname, "Doc", while serving as an aide to a physician in Akron, Ohio. He also a target of opponents trying to injure him.[1][2] Although Baker was never implicated, his football experience was marred by several gambling scandals.[2] According to a 1911 article the Canton Repository, Baker was involved in just about every offensive and defensive play during a game between the Akron Indians and the Canton Professionals (who were later renamed the Canton Bulldogs in 1915) According to the Repository write-up; “Halfback Baker, from appearances a second Jack Johnson, was Akron’s best man. He was in every play both on offense and defense and seemed impervious to injury. On several occasions he was thrown hard, with several others on top of him. But he always came up smiling. His plunges through and outside of tackle were the best ground-gainers for the Akron team,”[1][3]

Very little is known of his life outside of football. However, it is known that he was raised in the Akron Children’s Home, an orphanage, and is believed to have died in the early 1920s.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Horrigan, Joe. "Early Black Professionals" (PDF). The Coffin Corner. Professional Football Researchers Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 27 November 2010. Retrieved 3 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Ross, Charles K. (1999). Outside The Lines (PDF). New York University Press. p. 108. 
  3. ^ Peterson, Robert W. (1997). Pigskin: The Early Years of Pro Football. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511913-4.