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For the Canadian football player of the same name see Terry Baker (Canadian football).

Terry Baker
Jersey #(s)
Born May 5, 1941 (1941-05-05) (age 68)
Pine River, Minnesota
Career information
Year(s) 19631967
NFL Draft 1963 / Round: 1 / Pick: 1
College Oregon State
Professional teams
Career stats
TD-INT 0-4 (NFL only)
Yards 154 (NFL only)
QB Rating 40.7 (NFL only)
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Terry Wayne Baker (born May 5, 1941) is a former quarterback for the Oregon State University football team. He played for them through the 1960-1962 seasons. He is most notable for winning the 1962 Heisman Trophy.


Early life

Baker was born May 5, 1941 in Pine River, Minnesota. He attended Jefferson High School in Portland, Oregon and was a standout three-sport athlete for the Democrats.

Baker was a three-year letterwinner in basketball, and led the Democrats to the Portland Interscholastic League city championship his senior year. That season he averaged 18.8 points per game, and was a two-time first-team all-state selection both his junior and senior.

Baker was also a great baseball player. He earned a letter all four years of high school in baseball and led his team to the 1959 Oregon School Activities Association state championship. Baker batted .438 in his senior season before becoming the winning pitcher in the championship game. He was named first team all-city and first team all-state.

Football, however, was Baker's most dominant sport. Baker played quarterback and tailback for the Democrats. In his junior and senior seasons, the Democrats were 23-0 and won two Oregon State Athletic Association state championships. As a senior, he threw for 1,261 yards and ran for 438 yards. His stats were somewhat diminished because in that same backfield was future Dallas Cowboys player Mel Renfro.

Collegiate career

Baker was recruited out of high school by Oregon State University head basketball coach Slats Gill to play basketball. He played as a point guard on the Oregon State basketball team. In his senior year, as the team captain, he helped the team reach the Final Four in 1963. He was selected a third-team All-American.

Baker also chose to play football after coming to Oregon State. He played football for Oregon State from 1960 through 1962. His senior year was his most prolific in his collegiate career. During that season, he threw for 3,476 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also ran for 1503 yards and 15 touchdowns.[1]

In the 1962 Liberty Bowl against Villanova University, Baker's 99-yard touchdown was the only points scored in the game. That touchdown and his 260 total yards of offense led to him being named the game's MVP.

Baker earned a B.Sc. in mechanical engineering at OSU in 1963.


Heisman Trophy

On November 27, 1962, it was announced that Baker was the winner of the Heisman Trophy for his achievements during the 1962 season. Baker won the Heisman by one of the closest margins in the history of the award. His 707 total points gave him the trophy over Louisiana State's Jerry Stovall who had 618 points. Out of the five voting regions, he won the Far West and the East, but did not even make the top five in either the South, Midwest, or Southwest. He was the first person to win the Heisman Trophy west of Texas and the only player ever to win from Oregon State. To date, he is the only person to have both won a Heisman Trophy and played in the Final Four.[2]

In addition to winning the Heisman in 1962, he also won the Maxwell Award and the W.J. Voit Memorial Trophy, was a consensus first team All-American, was named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year, was a Helms Foundation Award recipient, and was the winner of 14 player of the year awards, including the AP, UPI, and The Sporting News. He was also part of the All-Star team in the 1963 College All-Star Game, the last time the All-Star team would ever defeat the reigning NFL champions.

Professional career

After graduation, Baker entered the 1963 NFL Draft and was the first overall pick, by the Los Angeles Rams.[3][4] Baker played with the Rams for 3 seasons, and later played for the Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL while earning a J.D. at the University of Southern California Law School. He is considered the first of many Heisman trophy busts in the NFL, mainly due to his style of play not fitting into the Rams' offensive scheme. This could also be attributed to the fact that the head coach of the LA Rams often had Baker lining up as a running back. It is also widely accepted that Baker was ahead of his time as a dual threat quarterback


Baker was inducted into the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1980, the College Football Hall of Fame in 1982, and the Oregon State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1988. Oregon State has retired his #11 football jersey.

Baker's 99-yard run against Villanova in the Liberty Bowl remains an NCAA record, and because the ball can never start from the goal line, the record can never be broken, only tied. He is currently a retired lawyer living in Portland, Oregon.


External links

Preceded by
Jerry Lucas
Sportsman of the Year
Succeeded by
Pete Rozelle


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