Top 10 Legacy-Altering Seasons for a Quarterback

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10. Sammy Baugh (1937)

Sammy Baugh was a two-sport athlete at Texas Christian, excelling at both football and baseball. After college he was drafted by the Washington Redskins and as a rookie, in 1937, he led the league in nearly every passing statistic, throwing for over 1,000 yards. In the NFL Championship Game, he threw for an unheard-of 335 yards as the 'Skins beat the Bears, 28-21.

But the NFL wasn’t what it is today and Baugh had his sights set on baseball. He was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1938 and the team converted him to shortstop from his familiar position of third base. After being bumped down from Triple-A Columbus to Double-A Rochester, he quickly realized he had no shot with the Cardinals as a major leaguer. He was playing behind Marty Marion, a much better shortstop than he was, and he knew he would have to return to football.

It’s a good thing he did. Known for revolutionizing the game with the forward pass, Baugh in 1943 led the league in passing, punting and interceptions (as he also played defensive back). He led the Redskins to five NFL Championship Games, winning titles in '37 and '42.


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