Retired NFL player Chris Baker, a member of the Saline High School Class of 1997, returned to Hornet Stadium for the first time in 10 years.
Baker, a tight end, played 131 games in NFL in his nine-year pro career, catching 168 paces for 1763 yards and 15 touchdowns – mostly with the New York Jets.
He was honored between the first and second quarter at Friday’s Homecoming game between Saline and Pioneer.
“It was great to be back here. It was the first time I’ve been back here in 10 years. It was fun,” Baker said.
Baker was impressed by the Hornets, who beat the Pioneers 37-21.
“They’ve got a heck of a team. The coaches do a good job of putting them in good positions to make plays,” Baker said. “I hope they get it done this year and win the state championship.”
Baker’s Jets jersey, with the number 86, will be displayed prominently in the high school for the student-athletes to see.
Baker played for Jack Crabtree. In his senior year he had 40 receptions for 989 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was named first-team all-state by the Associated Press. Baker also played basketball and led the team in scoring twice, helping Saline win back-to-back SEC titles.
He went on to play at Michigan State University, where he started 24 games and made 60 catches for 696 yards and seven touchdowns.
He resides in Florida with his wife and children.