Death: Dr. Champ Baker Jr., a well-known orthopedic surgeon who specialized in sports medicine, has died. Buddy Bryan, the coroner for Muscogee County, verified Baker’s death to the Ledger-Enquirer. He was 75 years old at the time.
Baker received the Robert E. Leach Mr. Sports Medicine award in 2010 at the annual conference of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. This award is granted to someone who has made a major contribution to the field of sports medicine on an annual basis.
It was said according to ledger-enquirer.com, “It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Dr. Champ Baker, Jr. early this morning. Out of immense respect for the Baker family more information will be shared at a later time. Dr. Baker has had such a great impact on the Hughston organization and will be truly missed. Please keep the Baker family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time.”
Baker was rushed by ambulance from his house to St. Francis Hospital’s emergency room early Friday morning, where the attending doctor pronounced him dead from cardiac arrest at 5:27 a.m., according to Bryan. Baker was chairman of the Hughston Foundation and retired from the Hughston Clinic, where he served as president from 1994 to 2000.
He was also awarded the George D. Rovere, MD, Award for his contributions to sports medicine education in 2010. His other medical distinctions include the Southern Orthopaedic Association’s Distinguished Southern Orthopaedist Award and the National Athletic Trainers Association’s President’s Challenge Award.