December 17, 2017 Happy Birthday Lou Baldacci

1955 Michigan Wolverine Football Team | bigbluefootballhistory.com
Lou Baldacci (#27) is shown above with the 1955 Michigan Wolverine Football team. He is standing in the second row – fourth man from the left. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Today is a great day to wish happy birthday to a Michigan Man named Lou Baldacci. According to the Wikipedia article linked below, Louis Granville “Lou” Baldacci was born on this day in 1934 at Richmond, Virginia. Apparently, Lou’s family moved to Ohio where he eventually graduated from St. Vincent High School in Akron.

Lou Baldacci arrived in Ann Arbor in 1952, but freshman did not play on the varsity in those days. So, he played on the freshman team and focused on getting ready for the future.

Lou Baldacci Michigan Football Player 1955 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Lou Baldacci lettered at Michigan from 1953 to 1955. He helped lead the Wolverines to 19 wins in 27 games. Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.`

Baldacci earned a place on Bennie Oosterbaan’s varsity football team in 1953. In fact, he made nine starts at quarterback in his first season on the Michigan varsity football team. He didn’t burn up the record books, but he was solid.  Michigan finished with an overall record of 6 wins and 3 losses that year and posted a record of 3-3-0 in the Big Ten. Baldacci’s Michigan Football career was off to a good start!

Lou Baldacci was back for more football in 1954. He proved himself to be an excellent team player and did whatever Coach Bennie Oosterbaan needed him to do. What Coach “O” needed in 1954 was a quarterback for five games and a fullback for one game. So, that’s what Lou Baldacci did for his team. Of course, he was a two-way player like just about everyone else on the team. He played a lot of defensive back for the Wolverines in his junior season. The Wolverines had another winning season in 1954. Once again, Bennie Oosterbaan’s footballers won 6 games and lost 3. Michigan finished in a tie for second place in the Big Ten Conference with a record of 5-2-0.

Hard-working Lou Baldacci returned for his senior season in 1955. He started seven games at fullback for Michigan that season. His excellent play helped Michigan post another winning season. The Wolverines posted a final record of 7 wins and 2 losses – it was the most wins since 1948. Unfortunately, Michigan ended the season in third place in the Big Ten at 5-2-0.

Lou Baldacci had a solid career at Michigan. He was not a “star” who put his name all over the Michigan Football record book. However, he was a wonderful team player who knew his jobs (quarterback, fullback and defensive back and placekicker) and did them well for three straight seasons. Baldacci played on three winning teams and left the program with three varsity letters.

Lou Baldacci Defends Pass against OSU in 1953 | bigbluefootballhistory.com

Lou Baldacci (#27) played quarterback, fullback and defensive back at Michigan. He defends an OSU pass in 1953 with Tony Branoff (#41) in a 20-0 win over the Buckeyes! Photo courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library at The University of Michigan.

Baldacci is also connected to some interesting Michigan Football “firsts.”

  • Lou Baldacci became the first Michigan Man to kick a 38-yard field goal (against Illinois) in a 3-19 loss to the Fighting Illini. (This stood as the longest field goal in Michigan Football history until 1961.)
  • Baldacci played in the first seven game conference season in Michigan Football history in 1954. The Wolverines posted a record of 5 wins and 2 losses.
  • Lou Baldacci played in the first game ever against Missouri on September 24, 1955. Michigan won the game by a score of 42-7.

Bottom line, today is a great day to remember Lou Baldacci on the 83rd anniversary of his birth. Please take a moment to appreciate his contributions to the great history of Michigan Football. Go Blue!

To read more about Lou Baldacci and the 1955 Michigan Football team please check out the links below:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lou_Baldacci

http://bentley.umich.edu/athdept/football/fbteam/1955fbt.htm

 

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher

Barry Gallagher is a self-proclaimed Michigan Football Archeologist. He spends a considerable amount of his time digging into the 138-year history of Wolverine Football. He is on a mission to share his findings with Maize and Blue football fans everywhere. He is the author of one book about Michigan Football titled "21-194-13 Michigan Football's Greatest Era". His second book titled, "The Legend of Bo Schembechler-How an Unknown Buckeye Became the Winningest Coach in Michigan Football History" was released on September 12, 2017. You can learn something about Michigan Football everyday by going to his website at: bigbluefootballhistory.com. You can also follow him on Social Media.
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