Redskins Ring of Fame: Cliff Battles

Oct 12, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Detailed view of the Washington Redskins logo on a helmet during the game against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Cardinals defeated the Redskins 30-20. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins have 47 members of the Ring of Fame at Fedex Field. Here is one of the first – halfback Clifford Franklin Battles. Redskins fans need to know the history of the Washington Redskins.

Cliff Battles signed with the Boston Braves that became the Washington Redskins in 1932. He signed for the huge sum of $175 per game. The New York Giants had offered him $150 per game. Yes dearly beloved Redskins fans of 2017, we are talking about leather helmets and no rules against hits and tackles. Tickets to the games were around 10 cents. Players played both ways back then, offense and defense.

Battles won the NFL rushing title in 1932, his rookie year. In 1933, he became the first “Boston Redskins” to rush for over 200 yards in a single game. His 215 yards in just 16 carries was amazing considering the lax rules for defenses and the tough NFL defenses. Art Bachtel, a teammate, said that Cliff Battles was the greatest open-field runner he ever saw.

The Redskins moved to Washington, D.C. in 1937 and quarterback “Slingin’ Sammy” Baugh became the Redskins quarterback. The Washington Redskins fans were very excited because they knew the combination of Baugh and Battles would get them a championship. Sammy Baugh’s arm and Cliff Battles’ legs were a lethal combination! Battles scored three touchdowns against the New York Giants in the last regular season game and the Washington Redskins were the Eastern Division Champions. The next week, the Washington Redskins won their first NFL Championship by defeating the Chicago Bears 28 to 21. HAIL HTTR was born.

Battles had won all-league honors 5 of 6 years. He retired and in 1938 he became an assistant football coach at Columbia University. He was the head coach of their basketball team.

Cliff Battles joined the United States Marines and fought in the Pacific in World War II. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1968.


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