Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The 1969 Football Cardinals-Hey at least they were consistent!

Here is # 44 John Gilliam booking down the field for the Big Red against the Steelers on October 5th at home.

I had to check to see if I had already written about the 1969 Football Cardinals because their Wiki entry looks so much like the previous one. The Cardinals (Chicago and St. Louis) reached the 50-year mark of being in the NFL-but they also met the dubious mark of 21 straight seasons with out getting to the playoffs! They were 4-9-1 and gave up the second most passing touchdowns at 38 in pro football history! Hey at least they accomplished something. This really gets to the point about moving franchises-especially since we have seen the Rams and the Chargers move recently and possibly the Raiders-it always seems like the loosing teams move as if THAT is the issue-you put a good product on the field and fans will come. You put a crappy team on the field then start asking for a new stadium or else then the already small crowds dwindle. Which of course the owners say that they have no support-yes this is called a self-fulfilling prophecy. This team had one “rookie” card for Larry Stallings, who had already played with the Big Red for 6 years! The one rookie who didn’t get a card but played in 13 games was fan favorite-and one of my personal favs, Roger Wehrli who was a Defensive back and would play in 193 games in the NFL all with the Big Red.  He was in the top 10 for two seasons for fumbles recovered, interceptions, and interceptions returned for T.Ds. He would also play in 7 Pro-Bowls. It has been said that “Roger Staubach claims the term "shutdown corner" originated as a description of Wehrli”. Oh yeah, did I mention he is in the Hall of Fame!


Topps was the only major card producer as was the case the year before. Topps issued a 264 card set in two series-both at 132 each. What I think is unique is the differences between the two are easy to see. Series one fronts have no border! While series two has a white border. So a few of the backs, 10, feature a puzzle of Fran Tarkenton.  Packs of 1969 Topps included one of my favorite football insert the 4-in-1’s and the team mini-album meant to be used for the stamps.


The fronts are really sharp and vivid there were three colors used for the Cardinals-Blue, Yellow, and Orange. Again first series are with out borders and second with , players info was at the bottom in a white box. Player photos were headshots or posed action like shots.

Topps however dropped the ball on the reverse, which was white and green lettering on a black vertical background.  Two pluses-one there was a lot of info on the player a nice little paragraph, as well as they dumped the “magic” rub off backs! Instead a cool cartoon about said player.

Who doesn’t love the 4-in-1’s? The Cardinals would have a total of 10 of these, which includes a variation of the Charley Johnson one. According to Vintage Football Card Gallery one of the variations has Johnson's name in white on blue, and the other variation has his name in red on yellow-I have seen more examples this version on EBay than the other.


The one oddball I could find was Glendale Stamps, which included 12 Cardinals. The Vintage Football Card Catalogue doesn’t indicate how they were issued but the fronts have the players picture and the back player name and team, as well as instructions on how to use them. These were issued in team just bought a sheet while typing this. The exact one!

 This is what they look like when separated.

Score card We have 9 of 11 regular Topps (missing Larry Stallings and Charley Johnson) and 1 of the 4 in-1’s and Glendale 12 of 12.

Stay tuned to see if the Cardinals make the playoffs in 1970, hint they don't.

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