Detroit Lions: Al 'Bubba' Baker

We'll be looking at the history of the Detroit Lions from a little bit different perspective -- history through the numbers. Each weekday will feature a set of numbers counting down from 100.

The series continues with Nos. 40-31. Most of the numbers came from research on the Detroit Lions website, record books, Pro-Football-Reference.com and ESPN Stats & Information.

40: The Lions used this selection in 1978 to pick a defensive end from Colorado State named Al Baker. Better known as "Bubba," Baker had 23 sacks his rookie season according to the Lions website, and 75.5 sacks in his five seasons with the Lions in just 67 games. He also made three Pro Bowls during that span. Most of these sacks were never officially recorded by the NFL, though, since the league didn’t start recognizing the stat until 1982. Now, he owns a barbecue business in Ohio and was featured on the show “Shark Tank.”

39: Completions by Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck against the Lions on Nov. 8, 2009, in a 32-20 Seahawks win. Hasselbeck completed 39 of 51 passes for 329 yards, a touchdown and an interception against Detroit with seven of those passes going to former Seahawks and Lions wide receiver Nate Burleson.

38: Interceptions made during the 1953 season by the Lions defense, the most the team has had in a year. Detroit returned two interceptions for touchdowns that year and gained 663 yards on those interceptions for an average of 17.45 yards per INT.

37: The number worn by Doak Walker, the man for whom the trophy for the best running back in college football is named. He had 309 carries for 1,520 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career along with 152 receptions for 2,539 yards and 21 touchdowns as he helped Detroit win two NFL titles. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1986.

36: Carries by Cincinnati running back Cedric Benson, the most ever taken in a game against the Lions. Benson had 110 yards on those carries and did not score. The Lions -- as they did so often in 2009 -- lost, falling to the Bengals, 23-13.

35: The age of the oldest Lions player to score an offensive touchdown in the regular season. Two 35-year-olds actually accomplished this. Quarterback Joe Ferguson had one rushing touchdown during the 1985 season and Jeff Garcia had one rushing score in 2005. Technically, Garcia was the oldest due to an earlier birth date.

34: The number of field goals Jason Hanson made in the 1993 season, the most in his career and the most in one year in Lions history. Hanson made 34 of 43 field goals that season, for a 79.1 field goal percentage. Hanson has the club's top six seasons for field goals made and the top two field goal percentage seasons (among qualifying kickers) in club history.

33: Fullback Nick Pietrosante wore this number during his seven years with the Detroit Lions, when he rushed for 3,933 of his 4,026 career yards and all 28 of his touchdowns. He also caught 134 passes for 1,323 yards and two touchdowns during his time in Detroit after being the No. 6 overall pick of the Lions in the 1959 draft out of Notre Dame.

32: Number of ties in team history -- although none have happened since the Lions tied Philadelphia, 23-23, on Nov. 4, 1984. Seven of the 32 ties in team history came when the Lions were still in Portsmouth with four in 1932 and three in 1930.

31: Points scored against the Lions by Green Bay's Don Hutson on Oct. 7, 1945. Hutson had four receiving touchdowns from Roy McKay and made seven extra points during the Packers' 57-21 win over Detroit. Hutson, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com, had six catches for 144 yards in the game.
We'll be looking at the history of the Detroit Lions from a little bit different perspective -- history through the numbers. Each weekday will feature a set of numbers counting down from 100.

The series continues with Nos. 60-51. Most of the numbers came from research on the Detroit Lions website, record books, Pro-Football-Reference.com and ESPN Stats & Information.

60: Number worn by Mike Utley, who was paralyzed from the chest down during a game against the Los Angeles Rams on Nov. 17, 1991. The play Utley was paralyzed on remains one of the most memorable in Detroit Lions history -- including his thumbs-up gesture as he was leaving the field on a stretcher. Utley remains around the team to this day and started the Mike Utley Foundation to support people who are disabled with spinal cord injuries.

59: Points allowed by the Detroit Lions in 1934, the fewest ever by the franchise. It was the only time the club has allowed under 100 points in a season -- and is the one record that will likely never be broken considering the increased games in the schedule and more of an emphasis on scoring. The Lions allowed two rushing touchdowns and five passing touchdowns that season. The team went 10-3 that season, the first year the Lions were in Detroit.

58: Points scored by Philadelphia in the 1995 wild-card game against Detroit, a game the Eagles won, 58-37. It is the most points the Lions have allowed in a playoff game and one of only four times the Lions have allowed 40 or more points in a playoff game.

57: As in 1957, the last time the Lions won a championship. Detroit, behind quarterbacks Tobin Rote and Bobby Layne along with Howard “Hopalong” Cassady, Steve Junker, Jim Doran, Joe Schmidt and others, won the NFL title. The Lions beat Cleveland, 59-14, in the NFL title game on Dec. 29, 1957.

56: Number worn by Joe Schmidt. The Hall of Fame linebacker was an eight-time All-Pro and won two championships with the club. He remains in the top 10 in career interceptions with the Lions over 40 years after his final season in the NFL with 24.

55: Sacks by the Lions in 1978, the only time in franchise history there have been more than 50 sacks in a season (the Lions hit 50 sacks in 1964 and 1999). Detroit went 7-9 that season, but the defense was led by defensive end Al “Bubba” Baker, linebacker Paul Naumoff and middle linebacker Ed O’Neil.

54: Yards of the longest field goal in Thanksgiving Day game history for the Lions, hit by Jason Hanson against Green Bay on Nov. 22, 2001. The kick came in the second quarter of a game the team lost, 29-27, despite scoring two touchdowns in the final two minutes when a Mike McMahon two-point conversion pass failed.

53: Kevin Glover wore this number for the Detroit Lions from 1985 to 1997 as a center. He made three Pro Bowls from 1995 to 1997 and was one of the main blockers for Barry Sanders. In all, he played in 177 games for the Lions. He has since returned to Maryland, where he is the Coordinator of Development, Alumni and Community Relations for the Terrapins’ football program.

52: Field goals 50 yards or longer by Jason Hanson in his career, a franchise and NFL record. He made 52 of 93 field goals from that distance -- including all eight he attempted in the Lions' winless 2008 season. His career-long was 56 yards.

51: Since 2001, this number has belonged to center Dominic Raiola, who has been one of the constants for the Lions in this century. No other Detroit player has worn No. 51 in this millenium and won’t this season, as Raiola has returned to the club for his 14th season. Raiola has only missed four games since winning the starting center job prior to the 2002 season.

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