Bill Baker (Canadian football)

Last updated
Bill Baker
No. 65, 76
Born: (1944-04-23) April 23, 1944 (age 75)
Sheraton, Manitoba
Career information
CFL status National
Position(s) DE
Height6 ft 3 in (191 cm)
Weight255 lb (116 kg)
College Otterbein College
Career history
As player
19681973 Saskatchewan Roughriders
19741976 BC Lions
19771978 Saskatchewan Roughriders
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976
CFL West All-Star 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976
Awards 1976 - CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award
Career stats

Bill "The Undertaker" Baker (born August 29, 1944) is a former defensive end who played in Canadian Football League.

Defensive end Defensive position in the sport of American and Canadian football

Defensive end (DE) is a defensive position in the sport of American and Canadian football.

Canadian Football League Professional Canadian football league

The Canadian Football League is a professional sports league in Canada. The CFL is the highest level of competition in Canadian football. The league consists of nine teams, each located in a city in Canada. They are divided into two divisions: four teams in the East Division and five teams in the West Division.

Contents

Junior and college football

Bill Baker played junior football for the Regina Rams in 1963, and college football at Otterbein College, where he was a First Team All-Star for four years.

Regina Rams

The Regina Rams represent the University of Regina, located in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, in U Sports football played under Canadian rules. The Rams nickname is used by the university's football team only; all other teams at the school are named Regina Cougars. The Rams joined U Sports in 1999 and have competed in the Canada West Conference since then.

CFL career

Baker played in a total of 174 games over eleven seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders (1968–1973, 1977–1978) and BC Lions (1974–1976). He was a Division All-Star five times, and won the CFL's Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award in 1976 as a member of the Lions.

Saskatchewan Roughriders professional Canadian football team based in Regina, Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are a professional Canadian football team based in Regina, Saskatchewan. The Roughriders play in the West Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL).

BC Lions Canadian football team based in Vancouver

The BC Lions are a professional Canadian football team competing in the West Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, the Lions play their home games at BC Place.

The Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award is annually awarded to the best defensive player in the Canadian football League. The winner of the award is selected by members of the Football Reporters of Canada along with the head coaches in the CFL. The two nominees for the award are the James P. McCaffrey Trophy winner from the East Division, and the Norm Fieldgate Trophy winner from the West Division. Between the years of 1955 to 1973, both defensive players and offensive lineman had to compete for the CFL's Most Outstanding Lineman Award. By the 1974 season, the league decided to make two separate awards for both defensive players and offensive lineman.

Saskatchewan 1960s

In 1968, Saskatchewan had the fewest points allowed in the CFL with 223, including teams in the Eastern division with two fewer games played, but lost in the Western conference final to the Calgary Stampeders. In 1969, the Roughrider defence allowed 261 points, second in the conference, and won the Western conference final, but the passing attack of the Russ Jackson-led Ottawa Rough Riders was too much for them in the 57th Grey Cup.

The 1968 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 15th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 11th Canadian Football League season.

Calgary Stampeders Canadian football team

The Calgary Stampeders are a professional Canadian football team based in Calgary, Alberta, competing in the West Division of the Canadian Football League (CFL). The Stampeders play their home games at McMahon Stadium and are the third-oldest active franchise in the CFL. The Stampeders were officially founded in 1945, although there were clubs operating in Calgary as early as 1909.

The 1969 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 16th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it was officially the 12th Canadian Football League season.

Saskatchewan 1970s: first time around

In 1970, the Saskatchewan defence dominated the league again with 206 points allowed, but could not beat Calgary in the Western conference final, or beat Calgary in the Western conference final in 1971. In 1972, the Roughriders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Western conference final, but, despite limiting the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to just 13 points, lost the 60th Grey Cup game because of a weak offence. In the 1973 season, the Roughriders could not get by the Edmonton Eskimos in the Western conference final.

The 1970 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 17th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 13th Canadian Football League season.

The 1971 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 18th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it was officially the 14th Canadian Football League season.

The 1972 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 19th season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 15th Canadian Football League season.

British Columbia

Baker had a 3-year stint with the BC Lions, less successful as a team than Saskatchewan during this period. In the 1974 season, BC lost to Saskatchewan in the semifinal. In the 1975 and 1976 seasons, the team could not reach the playoffs. Baker won the defensive player of the year award in 1976 despite BC's mediocre 336 points allowed and 5-9-2 record.

The 1974 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 21st season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 17th Canadian Football League season.

The 1975 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 22nd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 18th Canadian Football League season.

The 1976 Canadian Football League season is considered to be the 23rd season in modern-day Canadian football, although it is officially the 19th Canadian Football League season.

Saskatchewan 1970s: second time around

Baker ended his career with a 2-year stint with his former team, Saskatchewan, but neither in 1977 nor in 1978 did Saskatchewan make the playoffs. Thus, Baker's career ended on a losing note, his team finishing last in the Western conference with a record of 4-11-1.

Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Despite never having played on a Grey Cup winner, Baker was inducted to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1994 and, in 2006, was listed at #43 on the TSN Top 50 CFL Players list. His credo was "your opponents are only as tough as you let them be." According to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, "a Baker forearm to the head was greatly respected by opposing quarterbacks who came within range."

Saskatchewan 1980s: third time around

Bill Baker became general manager of the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1987-1988.

1989: CFL president

When the CFL split its commissioner role into two positions after the departure of Douglas Mitchell, Baker became CFL President/Chief Operating Officer in 1989, with Roy McMurtry, Q.C. holding the position of Chairman/Chief Executive Officer. When Baker resigned, McMurtry continued as Chairman and CEO until Crump's appointment but did not serve as Acting Commissioner.

Video clips

Canadian Football Hall of Fame member on YouTube

Seen in game 3 of the 1970 Western finals against Calgary in its entirety on YouTube

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References

Preceded by
Jim Corrigall
CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player
1976
Succeeded by
Dan Kepley