Former Big Red running back Ottis Jerome “OJ” Anderson was inducted into the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame on May 2, 2022, at the Liuna Event Center in St. Louis. OJ becomes the twenty-first member of the St. Louis Football Cardinals to be enshrined.
OJ starred at the University of Miami and was the Cards top pick in 1979. The Florida native made a big splash in his NFL debut with a 193 yard performance against the Dallas Cowboys. He would set league rookie records for rushing yards (1,605), rushing attempts (331), and the most 100 yard rushing games in a season with 9. He was named first team NFL All-Pro, consensus NFL Rookie of the Year, NFC Player of the Year, and team MVP. Anderson became the first running back to twice rush for 100 yards against the Dallas Cowboys.
OJ became the Cardinals’ all-time leading rusher in 1981 when he broke fellow St. Louis Sports Hall of Famer Jim Otis’ record of 3,863 yards.
OJ’s Big Red career ended after a trade to the New York Giants in 1986. He is still the Cardinal organization’s all-time leader in rushing yards (7,999), rushing touchdowns (46) and rushing attempts (1,858).
After the trade to New York, OJ was named NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 1989 and Super Bowl MVP in the Giants 21-19 victory over the Buffalo Bills in 1991.
OJ retired as the NFL’s eighth all-time leading rusher (10,242 yards) and seventh in rushing touchdowns (81), yet he has not received much consideration from the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Nicole Bidwill, Roy “Jetstream” Green, Willard Harrell, and Theotis Brown joined OJ in the celebration.