- Bruce J. Evensen
Baugh, Sammy (17 March 1914–17 December 2008), football player, was born Samuel Adrian Baugh and raised in Temple, Texas, the son of James “J.V.” Baugh, who worked for the Santa Fe Railroad when not running gaming houses and cockfights, and Lucy. The family was poor, a predicament that worsened when the father ran off with another woman. “Sammy” Baugh attended local schools. In junior high, he played end and switched to tailback before his mother took her three children to Sweetwater, near Abilene, after Sam's freshman year in high school. There, Sam practiced accuracy by throwing at a swinging tire, later starring at tailback and twice taking his team to the state playoffs. Texas Christian University gave him a scholarship to play baseball, but in his sophomore year the legendary Dutch Meyer became the school's football coach and urged Baugh to concentrate on that sport as quarterback. Between 1934 and 1936, the raw-boned, genial, but foul-mouthed Baugh led the Horned Frogs to a 29-7-3 record, passing a newly designed, slimmer football for 3,384 yards and 39 touchdowns, while being named an all-American in 1935 and 1936. He capped his college career with wins in the Sugar Bowl (1936) and the very first Cotton Bowl (1937), finishing fourth in the Heisman Trophy balloting for 1936. Baugh was “the greatest athlete I ever saw,” said Meyer ( ...