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Podcast — 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner Terry Baker

 

Terry Baker won the 1962 Heisman Trophy playing quarterback for Oregon State. Sports Illustrated also named him Sportsman of the Year. He also played in the 1963 Final Four and was the first-overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams.

Hear him talk about winning the Heisman and share a couple of great stories about playing for the Rams with players like Deacon Jones and Merlin Olsen.

You can listen in the player below, and also listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts and iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Stitcher.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NB Autographs.

Terry Baker — 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner — The Game Before the Money Podcast transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Terry Baker — 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner — The Game Before the Money Podcast was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Welcome to The Game Before the Money Podcast brought to you by NB Autographs dot com. That’s N as in Namath, B as in Biletnikoff, NB Autographs dot com.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
The Game Before the Money Podcast. Celebrating pro and college football history. One legend at a time.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Hi everybody, welcome to the Game Before the Money podcast presented by NB Autographs dot com , I’m your host. Jackson Michael, author of “The Game Before the Money: Voices of the Men Who Built the NFL” that’s published by the University of Nebraska Press and available on their Web site and Amazon.com, The Game Before the Money dot com, as well as Barnes and Noble.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
And also I’m writer director of “We Were the Oilers The Luv Ya Blue Era.” That DVD is available on Amazon and The Game Before the Money dot com as well. Also like to let you know, I’m now hosting another podcast. The Texas Sports Hall of Fame podcast. We just had Hall of Famer Ken Houston on that podcast, as well as Gene Stallings. A lot of Great Bear Bryant stories in that Gene Stallings podcast and a really great look at pro football Hall of Famer Ken Houston in that episode. So please also check out the Texas Sports Hall of Fame podcast.

Trivia Question

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Going to start out this episode of The Game Before the Money Podcast with a trivia question: who is the only person to win the Heisman Trophy and play in the final four? There’s only been one person to do that. Charlie Ward is an excellent guess. Charlie, of course, winning the Heisman Trophy with Florida State and then going on to have a pretty fine NBA career. But that Florida state basketball team missed out on the Final Four. They made the Elite Eight but didn’t win their regional final. The answer to the question is Terry Baker, who won the 1962 Heisman Trophy with the Oregon State Beavers and then helped lead the Beavers to the nineteen sixty three Final Four.

Terry’s amazing senior year

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
And Terry Baker’s experience as a senior may be the most amazing senior year anybody has ever had.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
And I’m not just talking about statistically because of course, you have to have great stats to win the Heisman Trophy, but then to go on and lead your team to the Final Four as well. That’s incredible. Plus, we’re going to hear some stories from Terry on this episode of things that happened around all that. Now, when you put it into perspective, all of these things happening for a young man over a six month period — it’s pretty mind blowing. And it’s going to be a lot of fun reliving that experience with Terry Baker today on the show.

Terry remembers grouing up in Portalnad, Oregon

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
And we’ll kick things off hearing Terry talk about what it was like to grow up in Portland, Oregon, in the years following World War 2.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
I assume like growing up in any other city, you know, I was the youngest of three boys and raised by a single mother, went to good grade school, high school. And we weren’t wealthy by any means, but we made do. And my mother did a great job and getting us all graduated from high school and through college.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Like many American kids, Terry started off playing sports informally around the neighborhood,.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
Being the youngest of three boys. I naturally kind of followed the lead of my older brothers, but one brother was 7 years older than I was, and the other brother was two years ahead of me. We were very, very close. And anything he did, I tagged along behind and did also. That was our source of play in those days. Things are a lot different today. I don’t know if everywhere in America is that way but I suspect it pretty much is that things weren’t so structured then. Your parents weren’t taking you everywhere all the time, planning your schedule and everything. And was my mother working? We were just left to go play on her own. That’s what you did. You got involved with other kids and you played. And whatever the season was, we played that sport.

Terry’s outstanding high school athletics program

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry later became a standout athlete at a high school that had a standout athletic program.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
The high school I went to was nicknamed as the School of Champions. And we won the state championship in football. We won it in baseball, track and we were kind of a powerhouse. And I played three sports and was All State in all three: football, basketball and baseball. And it couldn’t have been any better. Amazingly, off of my senior team. We must has six or seven kids play in the equivalent of PAC 12 football.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Obviously one of those kids went on to win the Heisman Trophy, but another one of those kids had a pretty good football career as well.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
Mel Renfro, who played for the Cowboys forever (and made the) NFL Hall of Fame was a year behind me on our team.

Joining Oregon State football

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry chose to accept a scholarship from Oregon State. The future Heisman Trophy winner chose two other sports over football.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
I went as a freshman on a basketball scholarship, I did not play football my freshman year and I was going to play basketball and baseball. And then in the spring, my freshman year, all our games were getting rained out.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Tommy Prothro was the head football coach at Oregon State. His dad, Doc Prothro, had won the 1924 World Series with Walter Johnson and the Washington Senators. Tommy also was a great athlete and played for the Duke Blue Devils in the 1942 Rose Bowl against, ironically, Oregon State. Those of you who have read (the book) “The Game Before the Money” may remember that Tommy Prothro was the Rams coach who drafted Jack Youngblood and the Chargers head coach who drafted Louie Kelcher. He was good at spotting talent. (Tommy) Prothro knew Terry Baker’s football skills and hoped to get him to join the Oregon State football team.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
They asked me if I would just attend a meeting of the football team befor]e spring practice had started, and they were as a single wing type formation they ran at that time. He was a disciple of Red Sanders from UCLA. I went to the meeting and there on a depth chart on the blackboard, he had me as a second string tailback already. (Laughs)

Oregon State’s single-wing offense

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry decided to play football rather than baseball. But a single wing offense going into the 1960 football season sounds a little antiquated, doesn’t it?

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
That’s a very true statement. And we shifted to the T formation. Then my junior year and it wasn’t solely because of me. It was largely driven by a fact that I’ve heard Prothro say that they were having a hard time scheduling teams because they didn’t want to play a single wing football team because that’s the only time they would play one all year and they didn’t want to have to prepare for it.

Beating USC in Terry’s first NCAA game

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Still, in 1960, Terry’s sophomore season, Oregon State ran a single wing offense. They open the season at USC. Terry shares with us his memories of the game played at the L.A. Coliseum.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
That’s the first football game I had played in since high school. We were on one side of the tunnel lined up before you go onto the field and USC was lined up on the other side of the tunnel. And I looked over at those guys. I looked over — and up — and I said, holy mackerel.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
I mean, is this what I got myself into? But, we went out there and SC had been picked number one by Playboy magazine or something at the start of the season and we beat them. And I think that’s the last time Oregon State has beaten USC in the Coliseum in Los Angeles.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry’s memory is spot on. Through the twenty eighteen season, 1960 is the last time that Oregon State won at USC. The Beavers finished with a 6, 3 and 1 record in 1960, the last year that they’d run the single wing offense.

1961 vs Syracuse (Ernie Davis and John Mackey)

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
In Terry’s junior year, 1961, Oregon State would run the T formation offense. They opened the season against Syracuse. The Syracuse roster featured future Pro Football Hall of Famer John Mackey and 1961 Heisman Trophy winner Ernie Davis.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
We played them up in Portland, Oregon. They beat us. We didn’t play real well, of course. We had just switched to the T formation. And I think, you know, there was a little bit of a shake down cruise on that for us, but Ernie Davis played well. I remember that. And more, I remember that. By the time the end of the following year when I won the Heisman Trophy, he had already passed away.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
During the 1961 college football season, Oregon State did have trouble adjusting to the T formation and lost four of their first five games. Then they reeled off four straight wins. During those wins, the defense only gave up eight points total.

Terry makes the cover of Sports Illustrated — 1961

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
They finished the season five and five, Terry had thrown for five touchdowns and rushed for two more. What’s more, Sports Illustrated put Terry on their cover in an October 1961 issue. The caption read, “The Best Athlete in College — Oregon State’s Terry Baker.”.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry’s Oregon State College basketball team had a pretty good season and they ended up going pretty deep in the NCAA tournament.

Terry’s summer before senior season

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
And then Terry had a pretty typical summer for an early 1960s college student. There weren’t summer lifting programs for college football players like there are today. And there were quote unquote, voluntary seven on seven practices. Back then, even a two sport athlete like Terry could take a break from athletics during the summer. And the amazing events were about to unfold for Terry during his senior year in college, weren’t even on his radar in the summer of 1962.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
Now, in the summer, I think virtually all the football team is still on campus and they’re basically practicing on their own and doing things, you know. In my day, you left the day after classes were out in the spring. I went home and I always had a summer job. That year (1962), because there was a construction strike in Oregon, I ended up down in California. I got a construction job down there and stayed at a friend’s house. You know, it was just a normal thing. I came back and you know, you show up two weeks before school starts and we started practice and I figured we’d have another season like the one the year before.

1962 Oregon State Beavers Football

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Oregon State started out the 1962 season at 2 and 2. So it did probably seem a lot like the previous year in Corvallis. But then the Beavers ran off six straight wins to finish the regular season at 8 and 2, and they earned an invitation to the Liberty Bowl to face Villanova.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
Everything pretty much went right — I mean, not everything went right — and some things with another twist here or another play there, we would have had even a better season.

Terry learns that he’s won the 1962 Heisman Trophy.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
In 1962, Terry threw 15 touchdown passes — tied for tops in the country. He also ran for nine touchdowns, meaning he accounted for 24 touchdowns that season. And basic math tells us that’s more than two per game. And that’s a good segue into telling you that Terry Baker was an engineering major and didn’t just deal with basic math. So one day Terry’s sitting in class like any other engineering student, and that’s when things in Terry Baker’s life were about to get super interesting.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
This sounds like it’s almost hard to believe, I imagine, from your perspective, it never even crossed my mind — winning the Heisman Trophy — until I was sitting in class and somebody came and said that the athletic director wanted to see me. And they got me out of class and I walked across campus and showed up in the athletic department. And they said that there was a phone call for you here. And I got on the phone and somebody told me that I’ve won the Heisman Trophy and I said, “Well, thank you!” And that we will be arranging for you to come back to New York, I said, “Fine.”

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
And then I went back to class.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
And that’s how Terry found out he had won the 1962 Heisman Trophy. No television gala. No big media outlets guessing, “Who’s going to win the Heisman?” Just out of the blue. Being pulled out of class. And oh, by the way, you’ve won the Heisman Trophy. And don’t worry. We’ll set up some arrangements for you to get to New York and then you can pick up the award. Terry found out about those arrangements in about the most awesome way possible.

Terry’s moment with President Kennedy

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
In those days, there was a “Look (Magazine)” All American team and there were some others, you know, and they would fly you back to New York. And I was on the Johnny Carson Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, and they took us over to Philadelphia for the Army Navy game.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
And at halftime, we were down on the field to meet President Kennedy and he walked down the line. And when he got to me, we were shaking hands. And he said to me, and I do remember this, he said, “Well, you’re gonna be seeing my brother in a couple of days.”.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
You know, he saw a quizzical look on my face. I didn’t know what he was talking about.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
He said, “Yeah, he’s gonna be presenting the Heisman Trophy to you.”.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
And sure enough, then, you know, whenever it was a week later or whatever it was, I’m back in New York and at the Downtown Athletic Club.

Heisman Trophy Award Banquet

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
So let’s think about this for a second. Terry’s 21 years old, (at one point) didn’t even have any idea he had a chance to win the Heisman Trophy. And now the President of the United States knows his schedule better than he does. Pretty amazing couple of weeks there for a college senior. Terry shares with us his fond memories of the Heisman Trophy presentation.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
Bobby Kennedy was the featured speaker at the banquet and it was an excellent speech. It was funny. Great. And I sat next to him. And through that, I got to know Bobby Kennedy when I was in law school. Later, I campaigned with him when he was trying to get the presidential nomination.

1962 Liberty Bowl — Oregon State vs Villanova

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Let’s not forget that Oregon State had a date in the Liberty Bowl against Villanova in a senior year packed with highlights. Terry was about to create another one.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
It was a frozen field. And I believe we changed into tennis shoes and played in tennis shoes because cleats were worthless. They had punted and downed the ball on the one foot line. I do not know who called the play. Tommy Prothro and I have discussed this many times afterwards, who called to play whether he had sent it in or I called it. And other people are taking responsibility for having called the play.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
But it was basically a roll out run by me, which in my opinion was a bad call by anybody to make whoever made it, because you run the risk of being tackled in the end zone.

Terry Baker’s 99 yard TD run

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Ok. So it’s first down on the 1 foot line. Somebody — nobody is quite sure who — has called a roll out. It’s a scoreless game at this point. Hey, let’s give it a shot and see what happens. After all, we’ve got the Heisman Trophy winner, Terry Baker, running the ball.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
And sure enough, I ran it and one or two people did hit me in the end zone and it would have been safety. But they missed the tackles or slipped away and got around the end and another tackle missed me in one of their defensive backs. And then it was just clear sailing all the way down into the field for the touchdown.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Touchdown, Terry Baker! A ninety nine yard rushing touchdown. Now, there’s no way to break that record. It still stands tied as the longest rushing touchdown in NCAA history. Not only that, it won the game. Terry’s ninety nine yard roll out touchdown was the only points scored in the game. Oregon State won six to nothing.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
What I also remember about that game was afterwards I was so sore, you know, from falling basically on — we might as well had been playing on concrete. And the rest of the team went to New York. Prothro had arranged that for them to see New York City, because my guess is none of the players on the team would ever been to New York.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
But unfortunately, I had to go back to Portland by myself and got to Portland, then immediately went to the next day somehow and got down to Corvallis. And I can’t tell you how I got there. I didn’t have a car or whatever, but I got to Corvallis, practiced with the basketball team one day, then leave back to Portland and flew back to Kentucky to play in the Kentucky Invitational. (Laughs) Then I was into basketball season.

1962 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
That’s right, basketball. After all, Terry originally came to Oregon State on a basketball scholarship. By the time Terry rejoined the basketball team after the Liberty Bowl, Oregon State had already played four games and they were two and two. The Beavers then won ten of their next 12 with Terry in the lineup. In the meantime, Sports Illustrated put Terry on the cover again — as the 1962 Sportsman of the Year. 1962 was the year that Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in a game, Sonny Liston had won the heavyweight championship from Floyd Patterson. Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to their second straight NFL championship and their running back Jim Taylor gained almost fifteen hundred yards rushing that year. And all you Los Angeles Dodgers fans out there might be eager to point out that’s the year that Maury Wills became the first player in the modern era to steal one hundred bases in a season. But Terry Baker, bested them all for Sportsman of the Year in 1962. And also in the meantime, Terry had become the first overall selection in the NFL draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He wasn’t finished enjoying being a senior in college yet, however. Remember, there was still basketball to play.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Oregon State would make the NCAA basketball tournament and win their Sweet 16 game over San Francisco. They had to wait and see who they would play in the regional final.

1963 Final Four

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
We played in the Final Eight over in Provo, Utah, the previous year (1962 Elite Eight). We were beaten by UCLA. Then the next year it’s deja vu all over again. We’re there and USF (University of San Francisco) is there, Arizona State I think it was UCLA and us. And we win the first game. And then Arizona State was with Joe Caldwell, their big guy, playing UCLA in the second game. And we watched the first half of that game and Arizona State was blown UCLA aliment and we left on outside. Oh, my God — Do we have to now play a team that could blow UCLA out? When UCLA beat us the year before? And so we come out the next night and we basically blow Arizona State out. That’s how we made it to the Final Four.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
It’s important to take a moment to mention Oregon State’s basketball coach at the time. His name was Slats Gill. He started coaching the Oregon State basketball team in 1928. 1963 was his second trip to the Final Four. (In the 1963 Final Four) Oregon State fell to the University of Cincinnati in the national semifinal. Cincinnati then was defeated on a last second shot by Loyola in the 1963 national championship game. That game was the first national championship to be broadcast live on national television.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
There just wasn’t as much hype. All your games weren’t on TV back in those days, even in football, you’re lucky if you’re ever on TV. There was three networks and that was it. ABC, NBC and CBS. I don’t even remember that much hype on who’s going to go in the draft or anything like that.

1963 NFL Draft

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
As I mentioned before, Terry was a first overall draft choice in the 1963 NFL draft. He was also drafted by the American Football League, San Diego Chargers. Both of those drafts were actually held in December of 1962 as the two leagues were battling each other for players. For Terry, the choice to side with the NFL Rams over the American Football League Chargers was a simple one.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
The other league had just started the AFL at that time, but it was just getting off the ground. In my view, I didn’t even know if that would be around financially in a couple of years. So if I was going to play pro football, I wanted to be in the NFL. Of course, the bad part about it is the last place team gets the first pick. The team wasn’t very good at that time.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry also tells us that the team facilities weren’t very good either.

1960s Los Angeles Rams

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
This is hard to imagine, but when I was with the Rams, it did not even have a training facility of its own. We practiced during the season out in a public park in the San Fernando Valley. We ate when one of these travelling trucks that shows up at a construction site and sells sandwiches and stuff — That’s what I would eat for lunch every day there.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Wow. So, imagine operating a food truck in 1960s Los Angeles and lined up outside are Heisman Trophy winner Terry Baker, Roman Gabriel, Deacon Jones, Eddie Meador, Rosie Grier.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
Merlin Olsen — all of them! (Laughs) We all did the same thing. And by the time I was playing, it was pretty well advanced. It wasn’t like the beginnings in the twenties and thirties. But the L.A. Coliseum was the same. It was a great facility to play in you know, good crowds and all that.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry didn’t play quarterback very much for the Rams. Roman Gabriel and Bill Munson were fighting for the job in the mid 1960s. The Rams integrated Terry a bit into the offense rushing and receiving. Terry’s biggest play in his pro career was a game winning touchdown against the Chicago Bears in week two of the 1965 season.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
I do remember that because I actually have a photograph of it, I’ve got of catching that pass.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
The thirty to 28 victory was the Rams only win in their first 10 games. In 1966, Bears assistant coach George Allen took over head coaching duties of the Los Angeles Rams. George Allen released Terry during the 1966 exhibition season. Terry’s touchdown against the Bears and the photograph he told us about are part of the story.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
I was in his office and that picture was up behind his desk of me catching that pass that beat the Bears and I kind of chuckled looking at that picture. Why, here he’s about to release me and that picture is up on the wall behind his desk. And he said, well, it reminded them of defense they had to put in to prevent that type of play.(Laughs)

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
And so Terry’s NFL career lasted just as long as his college football career — three years. Later, he did play one season in 1967 for the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. While he was playing for the Rams, he was going to Law School at USC. He earned a law degree, moved back to Oregon, and had an outstanding legal career. He was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982. His jersey, number eleven, has been retired by Oregon State University.

Review of Terry’s amazing senior year

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry’s senior year in college is the stuff of legend, literally. It was a lifetime of events packed into two semesters. He won the Heisman Trophy. He was Sports Illustrated’s Sportsman of the Year. He met President Kennedy. He met his brother, the attorney general, Bobby Kennedy. He was on The Ed Sullivan Show, the Johnny Carson Show. He ran for a ninety nine yard touchdown to win a bowl game. He was the first overall pick in the NFL draft. And he got to play in the Final Four. Not everybody could handle all that stuff happening in their life at once and then have it disappear so quickly. I asked Terry what the key was to surviving all the hoopla and craziness surrounding that senior year.

Importance of Terry’s mother and coaches

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
My mother did a good job of raising us boys and through my life from grade school, elementary school to high school and into college. I was very fortunate to have some mentors who I think understood in all my background why I came from and really went out of their way to pay attention to me and help me along and steer me.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
And I spent a lot more time of my life with coaches and them talking to me and being with them than with anybody else in my life. That helped an awful lot. I mean, Prothro even he who is known as to be a very aloof coach and everything, kind of like you expect someone out of a military to be or something. I became very close friends with them even afterwards.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
And then I can thank him for a lot of the stuff he did to help me along. And Slats Gill, the basketball coach, too. I just can’t tell you how much of an influence they have on you. And when you see these coaches on TV and everything say, “We’re building character” and everything like that. Some of them are. Some of them really care about the type of kids that they have on that team and how they conduct themselves and the type of person they will become.

Importance of team sports

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Terry also wanted to point out the importance of team sports.

TERRY BAKER: 1962 Heisman Trophy Winner, College Football Hall of Fame inductee, former Oregon State quarterback, NFL first-overall draft pick (1963 NFL Draft), Los Angeles Rams (1963-1965):
Team sports are a wonderful thing, I believe, for any individual to participate in, because what you get when you play with a team sport is number one, you meet and become very close friends with a lot of people and you succeed and you fail together with them and you pull yourself up and you do it all together. It’s a great experience and I’m lucky that I got to do it.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
A special thanks to Terry Baker for interviewing for our program. Thank you for listening to this episode of The Game Before the Money podcast brought to you by NB autographs dot com.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
N as in Namath, B as in Biletnikoff. NB Autographs dot com . Please subscribe to our podcast and visit our website. The Game Before the Money dot com.

Narrator (JACKSON MICHAEL: Author of The Game Before the Money):
Opinions expressed on this podcast aren’t necessarily the opinions of anyone else. Including our sponsors.

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