Cardinals, Browns and NFL Share Stadium in 1923

The St. Louis All Star of the NFL also used Sportsman’s Park for their games in 1923 before crowds of less than 800 people. The team was 1-4-2 for the season and didn’t exist the following year.


Oliver Robert Kraehe (August 22, 1898 – December 19, 1966) was a professional football player for the Rock Island Independents in 1922. In 1923, he founded the St. Louis All Stars and served, not only as a player-coach, but as the team’s manager and owner.

Kraehe began his pro football career in 1923 as a substitute offensive lineman playing for the Rock Island Independents. The idea came to start his own franchise came to Ollie Kraehe when he figured that if small towns markets, like Green Bay and Rock Island, could be successful operating a professional football, then operating in a larger market, like St. Louis would bring in even more income. He was a local football hero in St. Louis since he had played college football at Washington University in St. Louis, alongside Jimmy Conzelman and had captained the school’s 1921 team.

In 1923, NFL President Joe Carr gave Kraehe an NFL franchise. He paid $100 for the franchise and began organizing a team, about a month before the 1923 season was to start. He also named his club the “All-Stars”, however he soon discovered that there was a lack of All-American talent available. Many of the players were locals who came from St. Louis University and Washington University. He was able to sign college all-Americans Bub Weller and Dick King.

Kraech also was able to sign an agreement with the St. Louis Browns that allowed them to use Sportsman’s Park as their home field.

At the end of the 1923 season, Kraech and the All-Stars lost over $3,600. The following September, the National Football League canceled the All-Stars franchise.