Saturday, October 29, 2016

1965 Football Cardinals-or What Could Have Been?

Nineteen sixty-five was the tale of two seasons. After loosing their first game against the Eagles they would tick off four consecutive wins to tie for first however, they would then loose their LAST six games and finish with a 5-9 record and second to last place in the NFL East Conference. Ah, to be a Football Cardinal’s fan. As with the Baseball Cardinals this would be their last game in old Sportsman’s Park. Nineteen sixty-six would see them in their new Busch Stadium.
Something I didn’t know, and once you know something you can’t unknow it.  In the 1964 Draft the Cardinals chose JOE NAMATH, but alas he would sign for record bank with the Jets. What could have been? Like I said I wish I didn’t know that.


This year’s Big Red would contain the core of the previous year with no rookies. Charley Johnson, Bill Triplett, Jim Bakken, Bobby Joe Conrad, Sonny Randle, Jackie Smith, Larry Wilson, and Larry Stallings.

As the previous year several players would have “rookie” cards in this year’s release. The players were Jim Bakken; Jim would play all 17 seasons with the Cardinals and would play in 234 consecutive games, Pat Fischer, Irv Goode, and Jerry Stovall.


Regarding NFL cards Philadelphia Gum entered its sophomore year as the sole producer of this league’s cards. American Football League cards were in the first half of the issue and NFL in the last. There would be 14 Cardinals in the issue including as last year a team photo/checklist and play of the year card. What I like is that Philly Gum issued their cards alphabetically by team.

Again the simplicity and straightforwardness of Philly Gum is much appreciated. The player is depicted in a posed shot framed in white with a box along the bottom that contains the player and team name as well as position. They really wanted people to know they were the official NFL card producer and proudly displayed the familiar NFL logo along the bottom.


The reverse was also to the point. Vertical red-framed grey cardboard stock consisted of two boxes separated by a red band.  The usual information is in the top box, while the band has an interesting factoid about given player. The bottom box has a “Presto” rub coin to reveal a player gimmick, this make rubbed cards less valuable than unrubbed ones.

As far as oddball issues there will not be any until 1969. Nineteen sixty-five, the year that could have set the franchise on  a different path.

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