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Ralph Baker


Ralph Baker

Inducted 1981

Date of Birth



Rockford, IL


Northwestern University (1924-1926)


Before the arrival of Ralph Baker upon the Evanston campus, Northwestern was a perennial Big Ten doormat. Through his efforts Northwestern improved to break even status his first season and became Big Ten co-champions during his senior season. Baker spent his freshman year at Illinois before transferring to Northwestern in 1924. His play not only changed Northwestern's won-lost record but its nickname as well. Known as the "Purple" or "Fighting Methodists," Baker inspired a sportswriter to begin calling Northwestern teams the "Wildcats." Against Notre Dame's famed "Four Horsemen" Baker kicked two first half field goals to take Northwestern into the locker room leading 6-0. However a furious Notre Dame comeback resulted in a 13-6 Notre Dame victory. As a junior, Baker helped the Wildcats improve to a second place Big Ten finish despite being injured much of the season. In his 1926 senior season, Baker earned consensus All-America status. Against Chicago, he threw two touchdown passes in the first game ever played at Northwestern's Dyche Stadium. Following graduation, Baker launched a career in coaching and investments.


Height 5'10

Weight 172

Career Highlights

  • 1926 All-Conference
  • 1926 Consensus All-America
  • 1925 All-Conference
  • 1924 All-Conference
  • 1924 First Team All-America
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