I: Sept. 17, 1920
II: Nov. 7, 1920
III: Nov. 28, 1920
IV: Oct. 7, 1923
V: Nov. 26, 1925
VI: Dec. 6, 1925
VII: Nov. 6, 1929
VIII: Nov. 28, 1929
IX: Oct. 24, 1933
X: Nov. 28, 1935
XI: Oct. 14, 1945
XII: Apr. 19, 1947
XIII: Dec. 28, 1947
XIV: Dec. 19, 1948
XV: Mar. 23, 1959
XVI: Mar. 13, 1960
XVII: Dec. 6, 1964
XVIII: Nov. 7, 1965
XIX: Nov. 16, 1970
XX: Dec. 27, 1975
XXI: Jan. 8, 1983
XXII: Dec. 16, 1984
XXIII: Nov. 8, 1987
XXIV: Mar. 15, 1988
XXV: Dec. 23, 1990
XXVI: Dec. 24, 1994
CARDINAL CHRONICLE XXIV
March 15, 1988: "Gateway to the West"
- - - - - The St. Louis Cardinals of 1987 were certainly on the move. Not only was the team making a surprising push towards the playoffs,
the Cards were literally arranging a franchise relocation. Attendance was sharply declining, and the city of St. Louis was living up to its name
as a "baseball town." When owner Bill Bidwill threatened to move the team if a new stadium (preferably domed) was not built for his team, the city
completely ignored him.
- - - - - With the team on its way out, one would have thought the team, on the field, would be on its way down. And for much of the season, it
appeared that this was the case. Their amazing comebacks against Dallas and Tampa Bay (both at home, in front of few fans) were only good enough to
put the team at 3-6 with six games remaining (a players' strike caused one game to be canceled). Then, the Cards went wild on the road, winning at
Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Tampa Bay. putting themselves into wild-card position. Also, they won their final home game in St. Louis, 27-24 against
the Giants. With only one game remaining, the Big-Red sat at 7-7, still alive for the fifth and final playoff spot.
- - - - - Yet, St. Louis still needed some help to clinch a playoff berth. Their old rival, Washington, had to defeat the 8-6 Vikings on Saturday
for the Cardinals to still have a chance when they took the field at Dallas the following day. The 11-4 Redskins came through in overtime, 27-24,
awarding St. Louis a late Christmas present: they now controlled their own destiny with one game remaining. A victory over Dallas would push them in front
of Minnesota, earning them a post-season invitation.
- - - - - But, Dallas had revenge on their minds, having not forgotten the 21 points laid on them by the Cardinals in the final 2:00 on opening day.
The Cowboys themselves were out of the playoff race, but had filled the role of spoiler against the Rams the previous week. This they did again, as
Herschel Walker scored two touchdowns, and set up QB Steve Pelluer's late, game-clinching TD run. Al Del Greco's field goal with just over 5:00 remaining
brought the Cards within five points, but the magic from their earlier meeting was gone. The Cowboys would hold and the Redbirds would fall, 21-16.
- - - - - With the season over and the team's relationship with St. Louis at an apparent end, Bidwill continued his search for a new home. From the
top candidates of Phoenix, Baltimore, and Jacksonville, Phoenix emerged as his choice. On March 15, the NFL owners reluctantly, but overwhelmingly, approved
the move. Twenty-six of the 28 teams voted in favor of the move, with only the Raiders and Dolphins abstaining. Bidwill, who had lost 100 pounds and plenty
of money since last year's meeting, tearfully described his feelings as "mixed up." As home of the Cardinals for 28 years, from 1960 to 1987, St. Louis lived
up to its nickname of "Gateway to the West," linking the team between Chicago and Arizona.
NEXT : December 23, 1990 - With two weeks to go and a 5-9 record, the playoffs seem an impossibility.
Yet, almost all the pieces fall into place, leaving Joe Bugel's Phoenix Cardinals only eleven points shy of one of the most miraculous post-season berths.