Sam Baker (halfback)
|No. 45, 49, 38|
|Date of birth:||November 12, 1930|
|Place of birth:||San Francisco, California|
|Date of death:||June 5, 2007(aged 76)|
|Place of death:||Tacoma, Washington|
|Height:||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Weight:||205 lb (93 kg)|
|High school:||Corvallis High School (OR)|
|NFL Draft:||1952 / Round: 11 / Pick: 133|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics|
|Player stats at PFR|
Loris Hoskins Baker (November 12, 1930 – June 5, 2007), better known as Sam Baker, was an American football player in the National Football League who played in 1953 and from 1956 to 1969. While he would play several positions, he was best known for being a punter and kicker.
Baker attended Stadium High School, before transferring after his junior year to Corvallis High School where he graduated in 1949. He was an all-around standout in track, but at the time there wasn't a state decathlon championship, so he only participated in individual events. He helped his team win the 1948 state championship in basketball and also lettered in baseball. He has the distinction of receiving All-State honors in both Washington and Oregon.
As a sophomore he rushed for 668 yards (fourth in the conference). As a junior he rushed for 830 yards (second in the conference). In his career at Oregon State University, Baker gained 1,947 yards on 487 carries and was the school record-holder in both categories when he left. He currently ranks eighth in career yards, and sixth in career carries. He had five 100-yard games, with a best of 159 on 30 carries in the 1951 Civil War game at Hayward Field. He scored the final touchdown at old Bell Field in the final 1952 home game
In 1980, he was inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. In 1991, he was inducted into the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame.
Los Angeles Rams
In 1956, although he was initially being considered for the right halfback position, he was asked to become the team's kicker after Vic Janowicz suffered a serious brain injury in an automobile accident that ended his athletic career. That same year he also became the punter after Eddie LeBaron was sidelined with an injury. He was given the nickname "Sugarfoot", after leading the NFL in field goals (17), starting an 11-year streak of averaging at least 40 yards per punt attempt and being named to the Pro Bowl.
In 1957, he tied with Lou Groza with a league-high 77 points (including 6 scored on a fake punt he ran in for a touchdown). The next year his 45.4-yard punting average was the best in the league, while still managed to convert 25 extra points in 25 attempts.
In 1960, he relinquished his fullback duties with the Cleveland Browns and would replace the retired Lou Groza. On December 30, 1961, he was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for defensive end Tom Franckhauser.
He played two seasons as a punter and kicker for the Dallas Cowboys, until his disregard for the team rules wore thin with head coach Tom Landry. In both seasons he led the league in net punting average, plus led the NFL in extra points attempted/made once.
In 1962 he set the team record of 45.4 yards-per-punt, that was broken until 2006 by Mat McBriar with a 48.2 average. The next year he became the first Cowboys punter to make the Pro Bowl, his 40.6 net average per punt during that season still ranks third in team history.
He died because of complications with diabetes on June 5, 2007.
- http://www.nfl.com/history/leaders/scoring NFL Scoring Leaders
- http://www.nfl.com/history/leaders/punting NFL Punting Leaders