April 23, 2015

Highlighted Year: Dave Baker, 1960

Safety, San Francisco 49ers

Age: 23
2nd season in pro football & with 49ers
College: Oklahoma
Height: 6’0”   Weight: 193

Baker was a quarterback and defensive back in college on teams coached by Bud Wilkinson that went a combined 30-2 from 1956 to ’58. He led the Sooners in passing in 1957 and had a 94-yard interception return in the Orange Bowl following that season. Baker was chosen by the 49ers in the first round of the 1959 NFL draft (fifth overall) and he moved directly into the defensive backfield, combining with another rookie, Eddie Dove, to provide an effective safety tandem. He intercepted five passes and was named to the Pro Bowl.

1960 Season Summary
Appeared in all 12 games
[Bracketed numbers indicate league rank in Top 20]

Interceptions – 10 [1, tied with Jerry Norton]
Most interceptions, game – 4 at LA Rams 12/4
Int. return yards – 96 [9, tied with Jerry Norton]
Most int. return yards, game – 49 (on 4 int.) at LA Rams 12/4
Int. TDs – 0
Fumble recoveries – 0

Punts – 3 [19, tied with Eddie LeBaron]
Yards – 143 [19]
Average – 47.7
Punts blocked – 0
Longest punt – 55 yards

Awards & Honors:
2nd team All-NFL: AP, UPI, NEA, NY Daily News

49ers went 7-5 to finish second in the NFL Western Conference (tied with the Detroit Lions) while leading the league in fewest points allowed (205).

Baker intercepted another six passes and was a first-team All-NFL selection by The Sporting News in 1961. He then served two years in the military but, rather than return to the NFL, accepted an offer to become athletic director and men’s basketball coach at Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University). Overall, in a short but outstanding career, Baker intercepted 21 passes in just three seasons with the 49ers, gaining first- or second-team All-NFL honors after two of them and one Pro Bowl selection. To date, he shares the NFL record with his four-interception game against the Rams and the 10 interceptions in 1960 are still the franchise record for the 49ers (tied by Ronnie Lott in 1986).


Highlighted Years features players who were consensus first-team All-League* selections or league* or conference** leaders in the following statistical categories:

Rushing: Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Passing: Yards, Completion Pct., Yards per Attempt, TDs, Rating
Receiving: Catches, Yards, TDs (min. 10)
Scoring: TDs, Points, Field Goals (min. 5)
All-Purpose: Total Yards
Defense: Interceptions, Sacks
Kickoff Returns: Average
Punt Returns: Average
Punting: Average

*Leagues include NFL (1920 to date), AFL (1926), AFL (1936-37), AAFC (1946-49), AFL (1960-69), WFL (1974-75), USFL (1983-85)

**NFC/AFC since 1970