WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Sammy Baugh, a superstar with the Washington Redskins before the sport of professional football rose to the popularity it now enjoys, died Wednesday.
He was 94.
"Sammy Baugh embodied all we aspire to at the Washington Redskins," club owner Daniel Snyder said on the team's Web site. "He was a competitor in everything he did and a winner. He was one of the greatest to ever play the game of football, and one of the greatest the Redskins ever had.
"My thoughts and prayers are with his family tonight."
Baugh died in the small west Texas town of Rotan. He was born in Temple, Texas, in 1914, starred at Texas Christian University and then played for 16 years with the Redskins.
He helped popularize the forward pass in an era when running backs dominated the sport.
In 1947, five years before he retired, he threw for 2,938 yards. That was 926 yards more than any quarterback had ever produced in a single season. His record stood for 13 years, when it was broken by Jack Kemp of the Los Angeles Chargers in the first year of the American Football League.
As late as 1977, the top performer in the NFL did not reach the standard Baugh had set 30 years earlier.
Baugh was one of 17 men to make up the inaugural class inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1963.
That group included Red Grange, George Halas, Bronko Nagurski and Jim Thorpe. Baugh was the last surviving member of the inaugural class.