|Born:||December 1, 1902|
|Died:||July 13, 1998 (aged 95)|
|Height:||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Weight:||191 lb (87 kg)|
|High school:||Kent (WA)|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|June 20, 1929, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 18, 1930, for the St. Louis Browns|
|Runs batted in||45|
Morris Hiram "Red" Badgro (December 1, 1902 – July 13, 1998) was an American football player and football coach who also played professional baseball. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981.
A native of Orillia, Washington, he attended the University of Southern California (USC) where he played baseball, basketball, and football. He then played nine seasons of professional football as an end for the New York Yankees (1927–1928), New York Giants (1930–1935), and Brooklyn Dodgers (1936). He was selected as a first-team All-Pro in 1931, 1933, and 1934. He scored the first touchdown in the first NFL Championship Game and was a member of the 1934 New York Giants team that won the second NFL Championship Game.
Badgro also played professional baseball as an outfielder for six years from 1928 to 1933, including two seasons in Major League Baseball for the St. Louis Browns (1929–1930). After his career as an athlete was over, Badgro served as a football coach for 14 years, including stints as the ends coach for Columbia (1939–1942) and Washington (1946–1953).
Badgro was born in 1902 in Orillia, Washington. His father, Walter Badgro (1865–1940), was a farmer in Orillia. He attended Kent High School where he was twice named captain of the basketball and baseball teams. Badgro later recalled that his focus was on baseball and basketball in high school, noting that he only played "maybe three games of football in four years" of high school.
University of Southern California
Badgro enrolled at the University of Southern California (USC) on a basketball scholarship. At USC, was a multi-sport star in baseball, basketball, and football. Playing at the end position for the USC football team, he was selected by the United Press as a first-team player on the 1926 All-Pacific Coast football team. He was a forward for the USC basketball team and was named to the All-Pacific Coast Conference basketball team in 1927. During the 1927 baseball season, he led USC with a .352 batting average, scored 25 runs in 21 games, and was named to the All-California baseball team.
Badgro played 10 seasons of professional football. During the 1927 season, he appeared in 12 games for the New York Yankees. The Yankees folded after the 1928 season, and Badgro opted to focus on professional baseball. He did not play professional football in 1929.
After playing Major League Baseball in 1929 and 1930, Badgro qualified as a free agent in professional football and signed with the New York Giants for $150 a game. He gained his greatest acclaim as the starting left end for the Giants from 1930 to 1935. He was regarded as a sure-tackling defender and an effective blocker and talented receiver on defense. Giants coach Steve Owen said of Badgro: "He could block, tackle, and catch passes equally well. And he could do each with the best of them." Highlights from Badgro's prime years include the following:
- In 1930, he appeared in 17 games at left end, 14 as a starter, and was selected by the Green Bay Press-Gazette as a second-team end on the 1930 All-Pro Team.
- In 1931, he appeared in 13 games, 11 as a starter, and was selected by the NFL as a first-team end on the official 1931 All-Pro Team.
- In 1932, he appeared in 12 games, 11 as a starter.
- In 1933, he appeared in 12 games, 10 as a starter, and was selected by the Chicago Daily News as a second-team end on the 1933 All-Pro Team. He helped lead the Giants to the 1933 NFL Championship Game where he scored the first touchdown in the first NFL Championship Game, a 29-yard touchdown on a pass from Harry Newman.
- In 1934, he appeared in 13 games, all as a starter, for the Giants team that won the 1934 NFL Championship Game. He was selected by the NFL and the Chicago Daily News as a first-team end on the 1934 All-Pro Team. He also led the NFL with 16 receptions.
- Playing against the Boston Redskins in 1935, Badgro blocked a punt, and teammate Les Corzine returned it for a go-ahead touchdown.
Badgro also played professional baseball. He played minor league ball in 1928 for the Tulsa Oilers in the Western League and the Muskogee Chiefs in the Western Association, compiling a .351 batting average in 513 at bats. He also played for the Milwaukee Brewers of the American Association in 1929.
In June 1929, Badgro made his major league debut with the St. Louis Browns. Over the 1929 and 1930 season, he appeared in 143 games, 80 of them as a right fielder and 13 as a center fielder. He compiled a .257 batting average in 382 major league at bats and appeared in his final major league game on September 18, 1930.
Badgro continued to play in the minor leagues for several years, including stints with the Wichita Falls Spudders of the Texas League (1931–1932) and Seattle Indians of the Pacific Coast League (1933).
In 1937, Badgro returned to USC to finish the credits he needed to graduate. At the same time, he was a member of Howard Jones' football coaching staff at USC, responsible for working with USC's frosh players.
In 1944, Badgro was employed in a Seattle war plant.
In February 1946, Badgro was hired as an assistant football coach at the University of Washington. When Howard Odell took over as Washington's head coach, he retained Badgro as his ends coach. Badgro was again retained when John Cherberg took over as head coach in 1953. He resigned his coaching post at Washington in January 1954 in order to pursue private business in Kent, Washington.
Family, later years, and honors
Badgro was married to Dorothea Taylor. After retiring from football, Badgro worked for the Department of Agriculture in the State of Washington.
In 1967, Badgro was inducted into the Washington State Sports Hall of Fame. Badgro was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1981 at age 78. He was the oldest person to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
- "Red Badgro". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- Census entry for Walter Badgro and family. Son Morris H. age 7 born in Washington State. Census Place: Orillia, King, Washington; Roll: T624_1657; Page: 3B; Enumeration District: 0027; FHL microfilm: 1375670. Ancestry.com. 1910 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
- Census entry for Walter Badgro and family. Son Morris age 16 born in Washington State. Census Place: Orillia, King, Washington; Roll: T625_1925; Page: 7A; Enumeration District: 55. Ancestry.com. 1920 United States Federal Census [database on-line].
- "Morris "Red" Badgro". Greater Kent Historical Society. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- Richard Whittingham (1984). What a Game They Played: An Inside Look at the Golden Era of Pro Football. University of Nebraska Press. p. 46. ISBN 0803298196.
- "'Red' Badgro Is All-Around Star". Santa Ana Register. March 18, 1927. p. 13 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Badgro on All-Coast Basketball Team". Los Angeles Times. March 10, 1927. p. 37 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Morris Badgro Named On 3 All-Coast Teams". The Courier-Journal. May 15, 1927. p. 72 – via Newspapers.com.
- Whittingham, "What a Game They Played", pp. 47-48.
- Richard Whittingham (1984). What a Game They Played: An Inside Look at the Golden Era of Pro Football. University of Nebraska Press. p. 45. ISBN 0803298196.
- "1933 NFL Championship Game". Pro Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- "Giants Defeat Redskins, 17-6, In Early Attack". Chicago Tribune. October 21, 1935. p. 23 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Red Badgro Minor League Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- "Red Badgro Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- Whittington, "What a Game They Played", p. 51.
- "Troy Drills on Defense". Los Angeles Times. September 21, 1937. p. 30 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Badgro Will Coach At Ventura High". The San Bernardino County Sun. June 4, 1938. p. 15 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Badgro to Coach Ends at Columbia". The Brooklyn Daily Eagle. June 23, 1939. p. 20 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Stars Serving Under Uncle Sam". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 17, 1942. p. 19 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Huskies Sign Red Badgro". Los Angeles Times. February 19, 1946. p. 11 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Reggie Root and Red Badgro Named Husky Grid Aides". Los Angeles Times. January 17, 1948. p. 31 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Huskies Name Back Coach". Corvallis Gazette-Times. March 14, 1953. p. 3 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Huskies Lose Coach Badgro". Statesman Journal. January 29, 1954. p. 7 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Sports Figures Honored". The Daily Chronicle. January 25, 1967. p. 10 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Badgro to become Hall of Fame's oldest enshrinee". The Akron Beacon Journal. July 29, 1981. p. E1 – via Newspapers.com.
- Frank Litsky (July 15, 1998). "Red Badgro, 95, Football Hall of Famer, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved October 1, 2017.
- "Morris Hiram "Red" Badgro". Find a Grave. Retrieved October 1, 2017.