Big Red Legends: Jim Bakken

By Dennis Dillon

January 30, 2022

The record has stood the test of time. And it might just stand for the rest of time.

When Jim Bakken retired from the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979, after 17 seasons in the NFL, he was the franchise’s all-time scoring leader with 1,380 points.

Forty-four years later, that hasn’t changed. Bakken still holds that record—and he may never let go of it. Of the 49 players below him on the team scoring list, most are retired or playing for another team. The only exceptions are 37-year-old kicker Matt Prater (42nd with 137 points) and quarterback Kyler Murray (tied for 47th with 120 points).

“I guess I didn’t really think about that,” Bakken says when asked if he ever imagined his record would last this long. Actually, he takes more pride in a single-game NFL record he set.

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Former Cardinals QB, Local Sportscaster Tim Van Galder Has Died

(Editor’s Note: Story updated at 6:52 PM 01/26/2022)

Tim Van Galder passed away this morning at his St. Charles, MO home after a long battle with cancer. He was 77 years old.

The lovable, confident, handsome Wisconsin native was affectionately known as TVG. He was the St. Louis Cardinals 6th round draft choice in 1966 out of Iowa State. Van Galder spent time on the team’s taxi squad early in his career and served in the Army for a couple of years, before returning to the Cardinals in 1971.

“I waited for camp to start,” he told Jim Barnhart of The Pantagraph in 1973. “The Cardinals had (Jim) Hart and (Pete) Beathard. Another fellow and I were trying for the third quarterback spot. But this fellow was injured in a motorcycle accident and I got the third string job.”

Tim Van Galder played five games for the Cardinals and later worked for KMOX, Channel 4.

Van Galder got his big break in 1972 when he was named starting quarterback in the season opener against Johnny Unitas and the Baltimore Colts. TVG completed 10-15 passes for 110 yards in the Cards 10-3 upset victory. “The defense won the game,” Tim quipped after the contest.

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The day Jim Brown got into a fight with the Cardinals

Jim Brown played the last regular season game of his career at Old Sportsman’s Park (Busch I) and was ejected from the game for fighting with Joe Robb. Mark Tomasik breaks it down with an excellent story below. Interesting to see Robb talk about the mutual lack of respect between the players and Big Red management even in 1965. That was a common theme throughout their stay in St. Louis.

RetroSimba

In the last regular-season game he played in the NFL, running back Jim Brown was ejected for fighting with a St. Louis Cardinals defensive lineman.

The incident occurred on Dec. 19, 1965, in the regular-season finale between the Cardinals and Cleveland Browns at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

Just before halftime, Brown and Cardinals defensive end Joe Robb hit and kicked one another. The referee tossed both from the game. Brown still finished as the NFL rushing leader for the eighth time in nine seasons.

Despite a stellar performance by Cardinals safety Larry Wilson, who intercepted three passes and returned one 96 yards for a touchdown, the Browns won, 27-24, and advanced to the NFL championship game against the Green Bay Packers. Video

Brown, 29, played in the title game, won by the Packers, and then retired from football, launching an acting career with a role in the film…

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Big Red Tough Guy: Pat Fischer

Posted by Bob Underwood

Pat Fischer was a jack of all trades in college while playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He started at quarterback and defensive back his senior season and was a fabulous kick returner. The Omaha native still holds the Cornhusker record with a career average of 18.3 yards per punt return. He was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 1974.

The diminutive Fischer stood just 5 foot-9 inches and was deemed by many to be too small to play in the pros, however the St. Louis Football Cardinals drafted him in the 17th round of the 1961 NFL draft.

Pat Fischer played seven seasons in St. Louis and ten in Washington.

“I was selected in the 17th round of the draft, so whenever anyone would ask I could say that I was drafted. I didn’t have to say the round, just saying that I was drafted by an NFL team was enough to impress people,” Pat told the Washington Times in a 2008 interview. 

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