MAY 12, 1966 – 50 YEARS AGO TODAY
BUSCH MEMORIAL STADIUM
In the effort to peak the knowledge of some sports fans, how many of you actually know that today in 1966 the home of the St. Louis Cardinals, members of the National League in Major League Baseball, opened their stadium called “Busch Memorial Stadium”? Although the stadium eventually closed down in 2005, it also played to the St. Louis Cardinals of the National Football League from 1966 to 1987. As we all know by now that the St. Louis Cardinals, of the NFL, later became the Phoenix Cardinals, and then shortly after that they became the Arizona Cardinals, which we know them currently.
For many years the stadium had astro turf as their playing surface, but that also made the playing surface amongst the hottest to play on in both the NFL and MLB. Anyone that has some experience playing on astro turf, it feels like you are running around on concrete and has no give whatsoever! A single bouncing ball can seem very difficult to deal with, especially a ground ball coming at you from a powerful fastball hitter. I can remember watching some of the Redskins versus Cardinals games that were being played in St. Louis, and as a kid observing this match up, I always wondered how come the field looked different and the endzones weren’t colorful or had the teams logos. I often thought about the same thing when looking at the Cincinnati Bengals when they played home. Nowadays I don’t think there is one NFL team that doesn’t have a colorful endzone design, which I think is crucial.
Although the St. Louis Cardinals, of the NFL, moved to Arizona after the 1987 season, Busch Stadium didn’t go completely unused by another NFL team, the St. Louis Rams in 1995 for only a few games before moving to Edward Jones Stadium. Now, we are hearing that the St. Louis Rams may end up back in Los Angeles, which in the later years could be a preemptive complaint to have a team back in St. Louis, Missouri. Only time will tell if that happens, if any of this NFL move happens.
Also, as a side note, the first Super Bowl was played after the 1966-67 NFL season, between the Green Bay Packers and the Kansas City Chiefs. I think it would be amazing if both those teams met in Super Bowl 50, but by the time this is posted, we will already know that this has either taken place or just another wishful thinking moment.