Rest in Peace, Eddie LeBaron – One of My Earliest Football Heroes

Sad to hear of the passing of Eddie LeBaron, one of my earliest football heroes. He died last week in Stockton, CA at age 85.

Eddie played at College of the Pacific for Amos Alonzo Stagg. He graduated in 1950 but was drafted into the Marines. He fought in Korea and earned two Bronze Stars. Then he came back to football and played a total of 11 seasons in the NFL. He was a four-time Pro Bowler even though he stood only 5-7…a Doug Flutie type who, unlike Doug, got to show what he could do as an NFL quarterback.

I saw Eddie play on TV a few times during the final stages of his career when he was with the Dallas Cowboys. It was a big disappointment when the team went with a youth movement and made the wooden Don Meredith the first-string quarterback.

In 1962 I wrote a letter to Eddie and asked him how I could become a great passer like him. In January 1963 I got this autographed picture post card that read “Tommy: The most important thing in passing is practice and strength in the fingers and forearm.”

Thanks Eddie – for your kindness in getting back to me, but most especially for your service to our country. Rest in peace!

LeBaronpic and card

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