The “Football Cardinals,” a team seeming to have been flying under the radar for decades, won the league championship in 1947 while in Chicago, then moved to St. Louis in 1960, and was never heard from again (or at least until their appearance in the Super Bowl nearly fifty years later). Who loved the Cardinals, or even hated them, as they were almost too insignificant to garner any real emotions for? The 1962 season was no different for this oft-forgotten franchise, as the team finished sixth in the Eastern Conference with a 4-9-1 record.
The 1963 season, however, was one of great improvement as the Cardinals, under the direction of Wally Lemm, rose to 3rd place, with a 9-5 record. The team played with an aggressive offense and a hard hitting defense, and had some bright stars on their roster, including Larry Wilson, Jackie Smith, Charley Johnson and Ernie McMillan. Although not reaching the post-season, the franchise definitely gained respect and showed great promise for the future.
In expanding the 1963 football card set, RetroCards is now recognizing the perpetual also-rans from St. Louis. Stars on this team, whose careers were definitely underrated include All-Pro guard Ken Gray, defensive terror Luke Owens and solid lineman Ken Panfil. Would-be rookie cards of Larry Stallings, Jerry Stovall, Jimmy Burson, Bill Thornton and future-Hall-of-Famer Jackie Smith also highlight this set. Other names known to Cardinals fans and football historians include Dale Meinert, Mal Hammack, Marion Rushing, Gerry Perry and Bill Stacy. The set is rounded out by players who gained their notoriety elsewhere, but finished their careers with St. Louis, such as Joe Robb, Johnny Symank, Bill Triplett and Ed Henke, among others.