College of the Pacific/Washington Redskins/
Edward "Eddie" Wayne LeBaron Jr. . . . Collegiate All-American. . . .1952 NFL Rookie of the Year . . .Four-time All-Pro . . .1980 College Football Hall of Fame Inductee . . .Born January 7, 1930, in San Rafael, California. . .
Born in San Rafael, CA on January 7, 1930. Eddie LeBaron emerged as an outstanding athlete at Oakdale High School, excelling in multiple sports. At the age of 16, LeBaron enrolled at the College of the Pacific in Stockton, CA.
A college football sensation, LeBaron lettered all four years at Pacific playing all 60 minutes as a quarterback, defensive safety, and punter. In 1949, LeBaron led the Tigers to an undefeated season on a team that averaged 52 points per game. LeBaron earned All-American honors and won the MVP Trophy at the East/West Shrine Game.
Immediately after his graduation, LeBaron joined the Marine Corps in 1950 and received a commission as a Second Lieutenant. During the 1950 NFL draft, the Washington Redskins selected LeBaron in the tenth round but LeBaron delayed his football career in order to prepare for combat operations in Korea. Wounded twice, LeBaron spent seven of nine months in Korea on the front line. In a hard fought battle for Hill 673, LeBaron left his cover under heavy fire to contact the forward observation post of a mortar platoon in sight of the enemy. After an assaulting rifle platoon lost its commander, LeBaron took charge and resumed the attack. LeBaron earned the Bronze Star for his heroic efforts. In 1952, LeBaron transferred to the inactive reserve to begin his football career with the Washington Redskins.
As a rookie in 1952, LeBaron threw 1420 yards and 14 touchdowns earning him the National Football League Rookie of the Year award. At 5-foot-9 and 168 pounds, LeBaronâ€™s military record and leadership skills on the field earned him the title, â€œLittlest Generalâ€�. LeBaron earned All-Pro honors in 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1962. LeBaron spent the 1954 season in the Canadian Football League playing for the Calgary Stampeders under his former collegiate coach Larry Siemering. LeBaron returned to the Washington Redskins and played with them until 1959. From 1960 to 1963, LeBaron played for the Dallas Cowboys and retired shortly after the 1963 season.
After retiring from football, LeBaron went on to practice law with a degree he earned during the off-season. In 1976, LeBaron returned to football and became the General Manager of the Atlanta Falcons until 1982. Since their inception to the league in 1966, the Falcons only posted one winning season until LeBaronâ€™s arrival. After making key personnel moves, the Falcons posted a winning record in 1978 and won the National Football Conference Western Division in 1980. The NFL named LeBaron General Manager of the Year for his accomplishments in 1980. From 1982 to 1985, LeBaron served as the Falconsâ€™ Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.
In 1980, LeBaron was inducted into The College Football Hall of Fame and the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. LeBaron currently resides in Fair Oaks, CA and is still active with the Pacific Athletic Foundation.