Photo courtesy of the Detroit Lions
DE Al "Bubba" Baker was one of the anchors of the famed "Silver Rush" that harassed quarterbacks in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Baker was a massive 6-6, carried a 250-pound frame and had extraordinary speed and strength. Drafted by the Lions in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft out of Colorado State, Baker made his mark early when he registered 23 quarterback sacks in 1978, a team record that still stands today.
Baker is one of two Lions players who have earned Associated Press Defensive Rookie of the Year since 1967. From 1978-82, Baker recorded 75.5 sacks, which stood as a team record until it was broken by DE Robert Porcher. Baker’s sack totals came during an era that just preceded the inclusion of sacks (1982) as an official NFL statistic. During his five seasons with the Lions, he earned three trips (1979-81) to the Pro Bowl to play in the league’s annual all-star game.
The sack-master holds the franchise's top three all-time single-season sack efforts with 23 in 1978, 18 in 1980 and 16 in 1979. Baker also holds four of the top 11 single-game sack outings in Lions' history. Baker’s career high 5.0 sacks vs. Tampa Bay November 12, 1978 is second on the team’s single-game sacks list, and twice he recorded 4.0 sacks in a game (vs. San Diego October 22, 1978 and vs. Chicago November 22, 1979) which rank third on that list. His fourth outing in the top 11 was a 3.5 sack effort vs. Chicago November 27, 1980. In 1978 and 1982, Baker was voted the team’s Defensive MVP.
Baker's Career Lions' Stats