The Oregon State University Sesquicentennial Oral History Project

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Terry Baker Oral History Interview

Life history interview conducted by Mike Dicianna and Chris Petersen.

June 25, 2014


“A Legend of Oregon State Athletics”  June 25, 2014  Location: Baker residence, Portland, Oregon.  Watch Video | Download Transcript (PDF)

In the interview, Baker discusses his upbringing in Portland and his athletic achievements at Jefferson High School. From there he recounts his motivation for attending Oregon State College, his residence at Phi Delta Theta fraternity, professors that made an impact on him, and his early involvement with the baseball team.

An in-depth discussion of his football and basketball careers follows, with special attention paid to memorable teammates and coaches, the 1962 Liberty Bowl, and other signature wins. Baker next recalls his experience of winning the Heisman Trophy and travelling to New York to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, as well as meeting President John F. Kennedy. Baker also touches upon the Beavers' appearance in the 1963 basketball Final Four.

The interview then shifts focus to Baker's careers in professional football and in law. The session rounds out with additional thoughts on Baker's recruitment out of high school, his recollections of Tommy Prothro and Slats Gill as men, the means by which he managed his days as a busy student athlete, his memories of night school at USC, and his continuing connection to OSU and the Oregon State athletic department.