Tommy Baker Field

Every day, hundreds of students pass the monument at the entrance to Cherokee High School that says "Tommy Baker Field," but probably very few of them know who Tommy Baker was. Before August 1953, Tommy Baker was a robust child who loved sports. He was a member of the first high school class to attend Cherokee High when it was newly built in 1956. At age 11, he was struck with polio. He suffered through several months in an iron lung machine. He got well enough to come back to school in a wheelchair, but collapsed at school one day in 1957, and later died. Prior to a football game in November 1958, the athletic field at Cherokee High was dedicated and named Tommy Baker Field.