15 December 1890
10 December 1961 (aged 70)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 19y 185d
Last game: 33y 287d
Height and weight
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 90 kg
Essendon: 5, 1, 6
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Fred Baring is one of Victoria’s greatest athletes. Besides being a champion League footballer he is also one of the most brilliant cricketers in Australia. In discussing an all round athlete like Baring one is immediately tempted to inquire, At which is he greater - at football or at cricket? The answer will depend, to some extent, upon the company to whom the question is addressed. Ask Essendon and expect to learn that football is his masterpiece. Try East Melbourne and discover that cricket is his trump card. If both seem right in their way, then Baring’s relative greatness may be said to depend upon which is the greater game.¹
Fred Baring was an important player for Essendon both before and after World War I. Utilised chiefly as a ruckman resting in defence, he was a key member of the Dons' winning Grand Final teams of 1911 and 1912, kicking the winning goal in the former game against Collingwood after a brilliant solo run which saw him weave his way around several opponents. Baring represented the VFL for the first time at the 1911 Adelaide carnival when he was one of his team's best players.
After the war, Baring overcame both illness and the inevitable slowing down which accompanies ageing to develop into one of the league's finest full backs, a role he occupied with distinction in the Dons' 1923 and 1924 premiership teams. Away from football, he represented Victoria at cricket, and was chosen in the Australian party for a trip to South Africa which was called off because of the war.
Author - John Devaney
1. “Weekly Times”, 17/8/1918, page 20.