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Sports Then and Now



Remembering Football’s Forgotten Stars: Arizona Cardinals 5

Posted on August 14, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Every team in the NFL has its own collection of heroes. Players who played key roles in helping that franchise reach their greatest heights. Some of these players have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and are forever immortalized. However, many players who endeared themselves to the home fans, but were not quite Hall of Fame worthy, have been forgotten as time passes and new players take their place.

Over the next few months, we will be going team-by-team and featuring some of the “Forgotten Stars” whose greatness was valuable to their team, but who have been largely forgotten over time. We are not simply highlighting the best players from a franchise who are not in the Hall of Fame, but instead featuring some of the players who were important contributors and helped define the team during their era.

Some of these players probably should be in the Hall of Fame and were well known stars, while others were simply solid players and are remembered primarily only by true fans.

With only a few exceptions, we will be focusing primarily on players whose careers ended prior to 2000 to shine the spotlight on players from past generations.

We start with the Arizona Cardinals, a franchise that has been around since the beginning of the NFL, but has bounced between three different locations.

Chicago/St. Louis/Arizona Cardinals

One of the original NFL teams, the Cardinals have enjoyed only intermittent success over the last 90+ years. They are also a franchise that has struggled to maintain a strong fan base as they originally played in Chicago before spending 28 years in St. Louis and now more than two decades in Arizona.

During that time, the Cardinals have won only two championships, the last in 1947 and appeared in one Super Bowl. However, there have been many great players who have worn the cardinal red, including 16 Hall of Fame players, 10 of which played a significant portion of their career with the Cardinals.

In addition to those Hall of Famers, many other great players have become fan favorites in Chicago, St. Louis or Arizona. Below are features on six players who all were valuable players during their time with the Cardinals. Read the rest of this entry →

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      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

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      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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