St. Louis All-Stars
1923: Ollie Kraehe a lineman with the Rock Island Independents thought that if professional football could be successful in small towns like Green Bay and Rock Island that it would be even more popular in big cities. Krahe formed his own team to play in his native town of St. Louis, securing the rights to play at Sportsman’s Park and paying the $100 franchise fee for a team in the NFL. Ollie Krahe who also coached and played on the team named his squad the St. Louis All-Stars hoping to land some big name talent. However, he learned right away that getting big name players was harder then it looked. Professional Football was looked down upon by most, as Krahe stated “There were some players who didn’t want their parents to know they were in the game and some of them used fictitious names”. Some players pretended to be All-Americans from the East just to get into professional football. After beating a team from Muphysboro, Illinois 25-0 in an exhibition, the All-Stars opened the season with a pair of scoreless ties against the Green Bay Packers and Hammond Pros. The next three games would also see the All-Stars fail to score as they were blanked by the Cleveland Indians, Milwaukee Badgers and the Packers in a rematch in St. Louis. The All-Stars signed Dolly Gray to play for them, thinking he was an All-American from Princeton at the start of the season. However, the player was an imposter and not Howard Gray who was a consensus All-American in 1922. After three games, Dolly Gray was sold to the Packers, with the hopes of getting some money to alleviate the financial strain growing on Ollie Krahe. Gray played one game in Green Bay before Coach Curley Lambeau discovered he was an imposter. When the Packers faced the All-Stars in St. Louis, Krahe admitted knowing Gray was a fraud and gave back the money from the deal. After his one game with the Packers, Dolly Gray left town and was never seen again, nobody has ever discovered his actual name and who he was. The All-Stars would finally break through, beating the Oorang Indians 14-7 on November 11th. However, it would be their only win as they ended the season with a 17-0 whitewash against the Badgers at Sportsman’s Park. The All-Stars would cancel their final game against Cleveland Indians due to injuries. They would play one final exhibition losing to a team in Benld, Illinois 9-7. Ollie Krahe estimated that the All-Stars lost $6,300 and decided to shut down after just one season. The NFL would give St. Louis another try in 1934, with a team called the Gunners that also lasted only one season. In 1960 the Chicago Cardinals would move to St. Louis for a 28 year stay on the way to Arizona. In 1995 the Los Angeles Rams would move to St. Louis.
©MMXV Tank Productions. Stats researched by Frank Fleming, all information, and team names are property of the National Football League. This site is not affiliated with the St. Louis All-Stars or the NFL. This site is maintained for research purposes only. All logos used on this page were from Chris Creamer’s Sports Logos Page.
Page created on February 13, 2015. Last updated on February 13, 2015 at 9:55 pm ET.