Chris Baker “92” Day Declared by Windsor, CT Mayor at Bart’s Beanery, “It’s Swaggy Day”!
Posted on July 9, 2016
Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
“It’s Swaggy Day,” a smiling Chris Baker- nickname “Swaggy”- told the crowd gathered at Bart’s Beanery in Windsor, Connecticut Friday evening, July 8.
Baker, a defensive lineman for the NFL Washington Redskins – number 92 – had just been presented with a proclamation by Windsor Mayor Donald Trinks declaring today, July 9, 2016, Chris Baker “92” Day.
The honor recognizes not only Baker’s play but his “generosity and dedication” to enhance the lives of local youth and empower them to reach their potential.
“Chris is of modest upbringing and he never forgot his roots with his literacy and charitable foundation. Chris represents the true character of Windsor High School – he is a great role model successful in his chosen profession and successful in his heart,” said Trinks, who also owns and manages Bart’s, a local institution.
Trinks added, “We’re all having a great time. This is awesome, I don’t even have the words to explain the magnitude of Chris being here tonight.”
A line snaked outside Bart’s as Baker shook hands, held babies, signed autographs, posed for photos and chatted with the folks.
Little Delaney Burns may be too young to remember being held by Baker when she grows up, but there will be plenty of photographs for her to look at. It turns out Delaney’s mother Whitney is originally from Maryland and is a longtime Redskins fan. Delaney’s father, Josh Burns, was one of Baker’s coaches at WHS.
For the Sargalski Family of Windsor, the Redskins are their team. It all began around 1970 for Steve Sargalski when he visited his uncle living in the D.C. area and the two frequently attended Washington Redskins games together. Now Steve Sargalski’s children also support the team.
“You can’t live in my house unless you are a Redskins fan, he said.
Does Steve remember former Redskin and Hall of Famer John Riggins and his infamous mohawk haircut?
“Oh, my dad is the biggest John Riggins fan,” said Ben.
“Well, next to Chris Baker,” Steve Sargalski quickly pointed out.
On the personal front Baker is a new father. He and his wife have a baby girl, 6-month-old Aria.
“This is my hometown, I always come back and enjoy giving back to the community,” said Baker.
The proclamation notes, after playing football for the Windsor Warriors, Baker attended Penn State then Hampton University where he made first team All-MEAC honors with 62 tackles, 16.5 for loss and 8.5 sacks. Following the 2009 draft, Baker signed with the Denver Broncos later playing for the UFL Hartford Colonials then returned to the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. He signed with the Washington Redskins in 2011 and in light of his “high performing 2012 season” earned a spot on the defensive line which he has maintained.
In 2014 Baker established the “Chris Baker 92 Foundation” which provides literacy training and other educational programs such as his football camps and mentor programs to children in Windsor, Greater Hartford and Washington D.C. Last year alone Trinks pointed out, Baker’s foundation was instrumental in donating 2000 books to Windsor schools. He took part in Read Across America programs and donated to Foodshare, as well as, making “countless visits to inspire students to be their best in Windsor and beyond.”
Follow Chris Baker on Twitter (@chrisbaker92redskin); Visit Bart’s Drive-In at 55 Palisado Ave. near the Historic District in Windsor, CT 06095, 860-688-9035, http://www.bartsdrivein.com