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Buck Bailey

The Making of a Legend

Weldon B. "Hoot" Gibson


Buck Bailey, a fine coach and gifted athlete and humorist, earned the loyalty of the teams he led as well as the respect of his peers. From the time he arrived at Washington State College in 1926 until retiring in 1961, Buck excelled as a coach on the baseball diamond, the gridiron, and the golf course. As head baseball coach, he compiled an enviable record, achieving national distinction for himself, his teams, and the college.


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There never has been—and may never be again—another sports figure like Buck Bailey. He was a gifted athlete, a fine coach, and a gentleman. Buck was a devoted family man who also earned the loyalty of the teams he coached, and commanded the respect of his peers.

From the time he arrived at WSC in 1926, until he retired from WSU in 1961, Buck was a “triple threat”: on the baseball diamond, on the football field, and on the golf course. In his three-and-a-half decades at Washington State, he compiled an enviable record and achieved national distinction for himself and the school. In fact, one of the main reasons Buck Bailey became a legend was because he dedicated himself to championing the cause of the great institution of higher learning.

This book tells his story, the story of dirt-poor athlete, who came to the Palouse from West Texas by way of California to make an indelible mark on the national intercollegiate sports scene for Washington State University.

Illustrations / 230 pages (1989)


“Buck Bailey was something else again!! What a credit to WSC, the world of athletics, the game of baseball and in everything he did.” –Rod Dedeaux, Former head Baseball Coach, University of Southern California

“My father, who was director of athletics, helped bring Buck Bailey to WSC in 1926. Later on he often said, ‘He was an instant legend at the beginning of a Golden Era in Cougar athletics.” I was there; he was right”—John Bohler, Menlo Park, California

“I knew ol’ Buck very well indeed; we were close personal friends. For this, I am lucky—but more so that I never had to play or coach against him.”—H. P. “Dutch” Fehring, Former Head Baseball Coach, Stanford University

“Buck Bailey was not born at second base; it was at home plate”—Anonymous

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Weight 1.56 oz
Dimensions 6 x 9 in