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2015 NFL Countdown: The History of Arizona Cardinals Jersey Number 89

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We're out of the 90's now (jersey numbers that is) and it's a whole new ball game with many more players. Let's start out by watching the biggest play ever for a Cardinal wearing No. 89.

Harry How/Getty Images

We've made it out of the 90's and into the 80's where things break wide open from now on with many more players (26 in all today).  It also means we go all the way back to players who were members of the Chicago Cardinals — although our records of jersey numbers don't include players who retired before 1950 (see the first story of the series for more info).

You will also notice that many players who played before the 1970's and wore jersey numbers in the 80's weren't necessarily eligible receivers.  That's because the assignment of number ranges to player positions has been an evolution that started from being non-existent (everything goes) to what we have today the latest revision being only this year where linebackers are now allowed to wear jersey numbers in the 40's (too late for Brian Bosworth though).

And you would think that with so many of today's featured players (those who wore No. 89) that we would not have to go as far as we do chronologically before finding a player who made much of an impact — but we do.  And with so many players there's not time enough to go into detail on those who didn't make much of an impact (besides that would be 'way too much information') but we do need your help more than ever to fill in the important gaps with your memories of Cardinals past so let's get started.

The Chicago Cardinals years

Denver Mills 1952  (LB)
Frank McPhee 1955  (DB-WR)
Chuck Weber 1956-1958 (LB-G)

The St. Louis Cardinals years

Dave Long (1966-1968)  was a rough and tough defensive end for that great Cardinals defense of the 1960's, whose motto was to play the game in your opponents' backfield.  Unfortunately, we don't have tackle or sacks stats for those years, but Dave Long was a great teammate that knew how to apply the pressure.

Robert Brown 1969-1970  (DE)
Tom Beckman 1972
Warren Anderson 1978
Gary Parris 1979-1980
Greg LaFleur 1981-1986
Cap Boso 1986
William Harris 1987

The Phoenix Cardinals years

Mark Walczak 1988
Walter Reeves 1989
Pat Beach 1993

The Arizona Cardinals years

Terry Samuels 1994
Wendall Gaines 1995
Jarius Hayes 1996
Fred Brock 1997

The most productive player by far would have to be David Boston (pictured above) with 243 receptions for 3,739 yards and 18 TD's over four years (1999-2002). David's dad just happened to be an NFL referee who the league felt was in the best interest for him to abstain from officiating Cardinals games.

Larry Foster (2003) filled the gap for one year after Boston left before ...

... the biggest play ever for a Cardinal wearing No. 89 on his back when Nate Poole broke the hearts of Minnesota fans on the last play of the 2004 regular season by snatching a touchdown pass from Josh McCown as time expired — knocking the Vikings out of a playoff spot to the delight of Packers fans.

Nate immediately became a hero in Green Bay (who were now playoff bound), complete with a first-class airline ticket, huge appreciation party and the keys to the city (true story).

I guess if you're going to be one of 18 No. 89's that turn out to be One-Hit-Wonders (played for the Cardinals for only one season), you might as well make it a grand slam.

These five fellows wore No. 89 over the next ten years until we are where we are today.

Adam Bergen 2005-2006
Ben Patrick 2007-2010
DeMarco Sampson 2011
Javone Lawson 2013 
John Carlson 2014 (recently retired from professional football)

The player that currently wears the BIG EIGHT-NINE on the Cardinals roster (always subject to change) is Gannon Sinclair.  As usual when we don't have a picture available for a rookie we'll wish him good luck with a picture of the Cardinals logo.

Please don't forget to vote on the exit poll on your way to the comment section.


For a listing of the entire collection of stories in the Countdown to the Season series, all you have to do is click here.