Los Angeles Rams
1960 - 1970, 1974
147 Games Played
9 Pro Bowls
Maxie Calloway Baughan was a second round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1960, the 20th player chosen overall. He joined the Eagles and was inserted into outside linebacker on the right side of the defense as a starter immediately.
He played alongside future Canton inductees like Chuck Bednarik, Norm Van Brocklin, Sonny Jurgensen, and Tommy McDonald, as well as Eagles Legends like Pete Retzlaff, Bobby Walston, Tom Brookshier, Timmy Brown, Don Burroughs, and future Eagles head coaches Marion Campbell and Ed Khayat that year. The Eagles would go on to win the NFL Championship, the last the franchise has seen since.
Maxie would be named to the Pro Bowl that year, after picking off three passes and returning them for 50 yards. He went back to the Pro Bowl the next year after intercepting a ball and returning it 22 yards. Philadelphia won five games over the next two years, and Maxie went back to the Pro Bowl in 1963.
The teams roster turnover continued, as did the coaching staff, in 1964. Maxie went back to the Pro Bowl in each of the next two seasons. Baughan was 27 years old, and had been to the Pro Bowl in 5 of his 6 years, but felt that the Eagles wanted to keep cleaning house, and he was part of the guys they wanted out. He asked to be traded close to home, or to New York.
Little did he realize that Hall Of Famer George Allen was beginning his first year as a head coach of the Los Angeles Rams and had his eye on Maxie. Allen traded three players to the Eagles for his services. Baughan and Allen formed an immediate bond. The two would spend hours dissecting opponents game plans and films. Baughan is on record to have said he learned more about football from Allen than anyone he had ever met in his life.
The trade paid off handsomely for the Rams, as Baughan would go to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four years with the team. In 1970, he was injured and was only able to play in 10 games, and did not start in two of the games. They were the first two games that Maxie did not start in his entire career. He then retired from the NFL.
About this same time, Allen had taken over as head coach of the Washington Redskins. He wanted certain players on his team, and many were still employed by the Rams. He persuaded Maxie to return to the NFL in 1974. Allen made Baughan a player-coach, and Maxie got in on two games that year. He then retired permanently as a player.
Baughan was as solid and consistent a player as they come. He only missed five games in his first ten years in the league, and started every game he was able to play in. He was equally adept at playing the strong side linebacker as he was on the weak side. He played on the right side his whole career, and was a tackling machine. Statistics for tackles were not kept in those days, so his true impact escapes the younger fans, and voters, of these days.
It is simply disrespectful that the voters in the Pro Football Hall Of Fame have not put Maxie into Canton yet. He went to 9 Pro Bowls in his first ten years in the league, which is utterly amazing. You MUST realize that players EARNED their Pro Bowl bids back then, much more than they do today.
It wasn't a popularity contest then, where fans would vote you in based on shenanigans perpetrated on and off the field, like it is these days. Players and coaches did the voting, and they would only vote in the best of the best. Maxie's amazing run of Pro Bowls certainly shows he was one of the best ever in any era of NFL history.
Baughan himself has no idea as to why he isn't in Canton. He isn't alone in that thought. It is quite clear that Maxie Baughan should have been inducted into the Professional Football Hall Of Fame decades ago.