After retiring from professional football, Bubba and wife Sabrina opened a catering business that featured traditional southern-style Bar-B-Q cuisine. Bubba also launched a series of signature sauces and dry-rubs that have won over even the toughest Bar-B-Q connoisseurs across the country.
With that enormous passion ever present, Bubba’s-Q reached the pinnacle of success in Northeast Ohio by being named Cleveland Magazine’s, Silver Spoon Award, winners “Best Ribs” and “Best Barbecue Restaurant” 2010 four consecutive years.
Bubba’s barbecuing roots can be traced back to the 1950’s in Jacksonville, Florida. Bubba’s uncle, “Daddy Jr.,” took him under his wing, showing him the secrets of the family business. Daddy Jr. is none other than the owner of Jenkins Quality Barbeque, considered one of the finest barbeque restaurants not only in the south, but the entire country.
Under his uncle’s meticulous guidance, Bubba became Daddy Jr.’s personal apprentice. Generations of family recipes have been verbally passed down to Bubba. He also learned the art of slow smoking and what type of wood best accents the different flavors of each cut of meat. As his Daddy Jr. always said, “each ingredient has a job and a purpose”. Bubba not only embodies this, but actually lives by that slogan as evidenced by his award winning sauces and dry-rubs today. See if you can pick out the distinct spices in each bottle of sauce, just as Daddy Jr. and Bubba can.
Al "Bubba" Baker's Football Career
He made his mark early as he began his NFL career with the Lions with an incredible 23 sacks (an unofficial stat at that time) his rookie year, with five sacks in a single game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This is a team record that still stands today.
He played for the Lions for five seasons, starting 66 of 67 games. In his last season with the Lions, 1982, when sacks became an official statistic, he totaled eight point five in only nine games. He also had two career interceptions with the Lions.
He played the next four seasons, 1983-86, with the St. Louis Cardinals, for whom his season sack totals were 13, 10, 4 and 10.5. The sack-master holds the franchise's top three all-time, single-season sack efforts. In 1983, along with the 13 sacks, he also had two interceptions.
He returned to the Browns as a starter for all 16 games of the 1989 season as well as for all nine games he played for the Browns in 1990, his final NFL season at age 34.In 1987, he was a reserved defense lineman for the Cleveland Browns, then served in the same position in 1988 for the Minnesota Vikings.
Baker was named to three Pro Bowls during his career. He was named 1978 Defensive Rookie of the Year.