Halford “Red” Baker was voted the “Most Outstanding Boy” in the Class of 1938. A class officer, he served on the Executive Committee of the General Organization for three years and was a member of the Glee Club for 4 years.
Red was a 6’ 1”, 198 pound varsity athlete in three sports and a member of the Monogram Club for 5 years. He played basketball and was captain of both the football team and the track team in his senior year.
Red was the top individual scorer in the 1938 state track meet. He placed first in the discus and 220 yard run, second in javelin and high jump, and third in shot put. A back cramp prevented him from running a sixth event.
Handley’s 1938 track team won its fourth consecutive state title under Coach Otis “Snag” Sargent. Red Baker was on all four teams.
After graduation, Red worked as a driver for American Railroad Express Company before serving in the U. S. Army during World War II. He later became the manager of the H. F. Nelson Company, the local distributor of Sun Oil Company products.
Red became the facility manager for the Frederick County Fruit Growers Association in 1967 before being named the Association’s Executive Director. He worked with representatives of the U. S. Department of Labor and the British West Indies to recruit and safely house over 1,000 seasonally employed farmworkers each year. The peaches and apples harvested by those workers were stored, processed and marketed by area companies that employed several thousand local residents.
In 1980, Halford “Red” Baker was the first person inducted into the Judges Athletic Association’s Hunter Maddex Hall of Fame.