Nobody has worn the No. 8 in Arizona Cardinals history, but the number has a deep-rooted legacy within the organization.
Each time I write the new countdown, I get more and more excited. Seeing the numbers get smaller and smaller makes me excited. It means we’re another day closer to the draft. Today the Arizona Cardinals brass announced they had finished their draft board and would begin work on their top 120.
Keim stated they have yet to decide on the top pick and it makes sense. If a team wants that spot, you have to remain open-minded.
We wrapped up the most recent countdown with No. 9, which hasn’t had much success over the history of the franchise. But today’s number found so much success; the Cardinals decided to retire it. The No. 8 has never been worn by anyone on the Arizona Cardinals and would have to go back to the franchises days in St. Louis to find the last player to wear it.
Before we get to him, let’s take a look at the first two players to wear it.
Frank Tripucka was the first player to wear the jersey in franchise history. Tripucka served as the teams backup quarterback from 1950 to 1952. He was on the roster for six games in 1952 before being traded.
Lamar McHan took control of the jersey in 1954. McHan was selected with the second selection by the Cardinals in the 1954 draft. McHan didn’t produce for the Cardinals. In five seasons, McHan finished with a sub .500 record and more interceptions than touchdowns. He never completed more than 50% of his passes in any season during his career.
Finally, we get to the main man. Larry Wilson was the third and final player ever to wear the No. 8 jersey. Wilson was selected in the seventh round of the 1960 NFL draft. The defensive back spent 13-years in the NFL all with the Cardinals. He was elected to eight Pro Bowls, including five straight seasons earning a Pro-Bowl nod and All-Pro selections.
Wilson is the franchise leader in interceptions, interception yards, and is second in defensive touchdowns behind Aeneas Williams. Wilson was selected to the NFL Hall of Fame in the 1978 class.
Larry Wilson retired as a player but never left the franchise until he retired in 2002. During that time he spent three games as the teams head coach, one season as a defensive backs coach, and served in the teams front office, including time as the Arizona Cardinals Vice President.
It’s always the goal for the Cardinals to draft a future Hall of Famer. It’s not always realistic, but you have to try and find a guy who’s going to be a long term playmaker in the NFL. With the Arizona Cardinals holding the upcoming No. 1 selection, they have to hit on this pick.
We will continue our countdown tomorrow, so stick with Raising Zona for all your draft needs.