James LeRoy Bakken (born November 2, 1940, Madison, Wisconsin) is a former American football punter and placekicker for the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a four-time Pro Bowl selection, and was named by the voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to the Professional Football 1960s All Decade Team, which included both NFL and American Football League players. The voters of the Pro Football Hall of Fame also selected Bakken to the NFL 1970s All-Decade Team
In 1967, Bakken set the record for most field goals in a game with 7 (out of 9 attempts, also a record). The single-game record for field goals was later tied by Rich Karlis in 1989, Chris Boniol in 1996, and Billy Cundiff in 2003 before Rob Bironas broke it with 8 in a game in 2007.
Before his NFL career, Bakken played football at Madison West High School in Madison, Wisconsin. He went on to play three seasons at the University of Wisconsin, where he played on the 1960 Rose Bowl team as a sophomore and led the Big Ten in punting average in 1960 and 1961. He was named to the Madison (Wisconsin) Sports Hall of Fame in 1984, and was later inducted into the UW Athletic Department-National W Club Hall of Fame. In December 2010, the annual trophy for the Big Ten's best kicker, the "Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year" award, was co-named in his honor.
By Dean Hanley
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