‘Best job in the world:’ Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker announces retirement


CANTON, OHIO – AUGUST 08: President and CEO of the Pro Football Hall of Fame David Baker speaks during the NFL Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on August 08, 2021 in Canton, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

CANTON, Ohio (WJW) — Pro Football Hall of Fame President & Executive Director David Baker today announced he is retiring to return to his home, family and business projects in California and Nevada.

He’s held the role since January 2014, but as of now Baker has turned over day-to-day business operations.

He says he’ll continue to represent the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Ring of Excellence Ceremonies, which honors members of the Centennial Class of 2020 and 2021 at National Football League stadiums for the remainder of the presentation schedule.

“As I approach the end of nearly eight years of service to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for someone else to have the ‘best job in the world’ so I can still do a few more exciting things in my professional life while also returning home to our four children, 10 grandchildren and soon-to-be great grandson in Orange County, California, whom I’ve missed so much during my tenure at ‘The Most Inspiring Place on Earth,’ Baker said.

Here are some of Baker’s achievements while serving as president and executive director:
• Promoted health-related causes, included behavioral health, for former NFL athletes and their families
• Expanded educational programming for students of all ages across the country.
• Experienced increased television ratings and an increase in national broadcasts.
• Launched the Black College Football Hall of Fame Classic to celebrate Historically Black
Colleges and Universities.
• Brought the Black College Hall of Fame to Canton and inside the Pro Football Hall of Fame
• Oversaw the selection of a 20-person Centennial Class of 2020 to commemorate the 100th
birthday of the National Football League.
• Enshrined both the Centennial Class of 2020 and 2021 this past August as Canton led
the celebration of “The Greatest Gathering in Football.”

Baker will be remembered in the sports world as the man who introduced “The Knock” as the way of informing eligible Hall of Fame candidates they had been elected. He would rap on the doors of the hotel rooms where that year’s enshrinement candidates were sequestered and savor the moments as the men and their families realized their lives were changing forever.

The Hall of Fame’s Board of Trustees will continue to discuss the management structure, including deciding who will deliver the news to those elected in future Enshrinement classes and who will serve as host of the annual Enshrinement Week.

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