This biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately from the article and its talk page, especially if potentially libelous.Find sources: "Terry Baker" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (June 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Terry Baker
Baker with the Oregon State Beavers men's basketball team circa 1963
Baker at Oregon State c. 1963
No. 15, 11
Personal information
Born: (1941-05-05) May 5, 1941 (age 82)
Pine River, Minnesota, U.S.
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:200 lb (91 kg)
Career information
High school:Jefferson
(Portland, Oregon)
College:Oregon State (1960–1962)
NFL Draft:1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Passing attempts:21
Passing completions:12
Completion percentage:57.1%
Passing yards:154
Passer rating:40.7
Receiving yards:302
Receiving touchdowns:2
Career CFL statistics
Passing attempts:36
Passing completions:23
Completion percentage:63.9%
Passing yards:344
Player stats at · PFR

Terry Wayne Baker (born May 5, 1941) is an American former football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) and the Canadian Football League (CFL). He played college football and basketball at Oregon State University, where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta. Baker played for the Oregon State Beavers football team from 1960 to 1962, winning the Heisman Trophy as a senior. In the spring of his senior year, he led the basketball team to the 1963 Final Four. To date, he is the only athlete to win a Heisman Trophy and play in the Final Four.[2] Baker was the first overall pick in the 1963 NFL draft and played with the Los Angeles Rams from 1963 to 1965. He then played for one season in the CFL with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1967. Baker was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982.

Early life and education

Born in Pine River, Minnesota, Baker was raised in Portland, Oregon, and attended its Jefferson High School, where was a standout three-sport athlete. Baker was a three-year letter winner in basketball, and led the Democrats to the Portland Interscholastic League city championship his senior year. Baker was also a great baseball player; he lettered all four years and led Jefferson to the 1959 state championship.

Football was Baker's most dominant sport and he played quarterback and tailback for the Democrats. In his junior and senior seasons, the Democrats were 23–0 and won consecutive state championships. As a senior, he threw for 1,261 yards and ran for 438 yards.[3]

College career

Baker played point guard on the Oregon State basketball team, and quarterback in football, but was a halfback as a sophomore in 1960. He threw for 3,476 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushing for 1503 yards and 15 touchdowns, and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering in 1963.

On November 27, 1962, Baker won the Heisman Trophy for his achievements during the 1962 season. He was the first player from a school west of Texas to win the award. In addition to winning the Heisman, he also won the Maxwell Award and the W. J. Voit Memorial Trophy in 1962, was a consensus first team All-American, was named as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year,[1] was a Helms Foundation Award recipient and won 14 player of the year awards, including from AP, UPI and The Sporting News. He also played in the College All-Star Game in Chicago on August 2, 1963, the last time the collegiate stars defeated the reigning NFL champion.[4]

Baker's 99-yard run in the first quarter against Villanova in the frigid Liberty Bowl (in Philadelphia in mid-December 1962), the only score in Oregon State's 6–0 victory,[5][6][7] remains an NCAA record. Because plays from scrimmage can never start from the goal line, the record can never be broken, only tied.[citation needed]

Professional career

Baker was the first overall pick in the 1963 NFL Draft, taken by the Los Angeles Rams.[8][9] He was also the ninetieth pick of the AFL draft in the twelfth round by the San Diego Chargers). The Rams had drafted Roman Gabriel in 1962 and had Zeke Bratkowski on the roster as well.

Before going into training camp with the Rams, he led the College All-Stars to victory in the Chicago College All-Star Game that matched them against the defending NFL champion (Green Bay Packers), the last time the college team would beat an NFL team before the game was discontinued in 1976. When Baker arrived in camp, he dazzled in the presentation of calling out signals and handing the ball out while doing soft throws for warm-up lobs. However, as camp went on, it was discovered that he did not have a strong arm to throw the ball hard more than a general lob, as his arm was used to rolling out to throw in college rather than throwing a straight pass from the pocket. The result was that while he could throw short passes capably, his long passes were susceptable to being intercepted due to low velocity. In a game against the Detroit Lions, Baker threw three interceptions, with one returned for a touchdown.[10] He went 6-of-12 for 72 yards while rushing four times for 21 yards in a 23-2 loss.[11] Four games later, he went 5-of-7 for 68 yards with one interception versus the Chicago Cardinals while running five times for 25 yards. These were his only two games where he served as a primary quarterback (aside from two games where he was sent to throw one pass). He scored his only touchdowns in his final season of 1965. He caught 8 passes for 82 yards against the Chicago Bears on September 26; he caught a ten-yard pass from Bill Munson in the fourth quarter that served as the go-ahead points in a 30-28 win.[12] The next week against the Minnesota Vikings, Baker caught a 38-yard pass from Gabriel in the first quarter, but the Rams lost 38-35 while he caught four passes for 61 yards.[13] He scored his last touchdown on October 17, 1965, rushing the ball one yard in his only carry against the San Francisco 49ers in a loss.[14]

In total, Baker rushed 58 times for 210 yards in his career with thirty catches for 302 yards in three seasons with the Rams as quarterback-turned-halfback-turned-receiver before he was released in the summer of 1966. He went to the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League (CFL), while earning a J.D. at the University of Southern California Law School, studying at night during football season and full-time in the offseason. He was a backup QB and running back with Eskimos but played sparingly. A pulled muscle in the groin, alongside a dispute about a contract while he tried to take the bar exam in Oregon, led to the end of his professional football career. Baker would then return to Portland, where he was a founding partner at the law firm Tonkon Torp.[15][16]

Later years

Baker was inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980,[17] the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982 and the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.[18] Oregon State has retired his No. 11 football jersey, the only number retired by the football team.[19][20]

See also


  1. ^ a b Wright, Alfred (January 7, 1963). "Sportsman of the Year: Terry Baker". Sports Illustrated. p. 16.
  2. ^ "Heisman Trophy". Archived from the original on December 8, 2007. Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  3. ^ "Terry Baker". Heisman. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  4. ^ "VanderKelen sparks Stars to 20-17 win". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. August 3, 1963. p. 1B.
  5. ^ "Oregon State wins Liberty Bowl, 6-0". Reading Eagle. (Pennsylvania). UPI. December 16, 1962. p. 41.
  6. ^ "Beavers win on Baker's big run". Eugene Register-Guard. (Oregon). Associated Press. December 16, 1962. p. 1B.
  7. ^ "Fumbles foil Villanova's bid for grid upset". Bend Bulletin. (Oregon). UPI. December 17, 1962. p. 3.
  8. ^ "Terry Baker". Retrieved 2008-01-05.
  9. ^ "Beavers in the Pros" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-02-08. Retrieved 2008-01-04.
  10. ^ "Two Big Surprises: Longshot Makes It, a Sureshot Doesn't : TERRY BAKER : He Seemed to Have It All and the Rams Went for It". Los Angeles Times. 26 April 1987.
  11. ^ "Detroit Lions at Los Angeles Rams - September 14th, 1963".
  12. ^ "Chicago Bears at Los Angeles Rams - September 26th, 1965".
  13. ^ "Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams - October 3rd, 1965".
  14. ^ "Terry Baker Career Game Log".
  15. ^ Eggers, Kerry (November 22, 2012). "Heisman redux for Terry Baker". Portland Tribune. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  16. ^ "Tonkon Torp Firm History". Tonkon Torp LLP. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  17. ^ "Terry Baker – Football | Oregon Sports Hall of Fame & Museum". Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  18. ^ "Terry Baker (1988) - Hall of Fame". Oregon State University Athletics. Retrieved 2021-02-01.
  19. ^ "Terry Baker – Football | Oregon Sports Hall of Fame & Museum".
  20. ^ "Numbers you don't mess with in the Pac-12". 3 June 2015.

Further reading