We’ve already unveiled the first 50 names of the Top-75 Stampeders players of all-time. With 25 names to go, we present to you the next 10! But first, how did this list come together?
The list was created by a consensus ranking of players by long-time equipment manager George Hopkins, radio play-by-play voice Mark Stephen, Stampeders historian Daryl Slade, and Wall-of-Famer Stan Schwartz. Each member was asked to rank their Top-5 players of All-Time and then provide a list of the remaining 70. With differences among the lists, more than 100 players received acknowledgement during this process. Players were added to the list by number of votes. Forty-three players received four votes, 20 players had three votes, and 18 players had two votes, meaning that not all of the two-vote players were able to make the list. To fairly assign those final spots on the list, those two-vote players were ranked first by seasons played, followed by Grey Cups won, and finally by All-CFL team appearances.
Throughout the season, we will be unveiling the list 10 players at a time in no specific order, finishing with the Top-5 Stampeders players of All-Time. Stay tuned to see if your favourite players made the list!
Dave Sapunjis, WR, 1990-1996
Dave Sapunjis, aka The Sponge, was a Stampeders lifer, playing all of his seven CFL seasons in the Red & White. Sapunjis played his college ball with the University of Western Ontario Mustangs before being selected by Calgary with the fifth overall selection in the 1990 CFL Draft. After a modest first two seasons – which is saying a lot since he was a Grey Cup champion and the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian in 1991 – Sapunjis broke out as a receiver in 1992. But his best work as a pass catcher came in 1993, where he recorded the extremely rare ‘triple crown’ by leading the league in receptions (103), yards (1,484), and touchdowns (15). That performance would earn him the first of two Most Outstanding Canadian awards (1993, 1995). Sapunjis would finish his CFL career with 460 receptions for 6,586 yards and 46 receiving touchdowns.
Gerry Shaw, DE/WR, 1965-1974
There was no doubt that the man nicknamed ‘The Stampeder’ would end up on this list. A local hero, Shaw represented the Red & White well during his 10-year career in the CFL. Playing on both sides of the football, Shaw made 313 catches for 4,732 yards and 32 touchdowns as a receiver, while wreaking havoc in the backfield as a defensive end. Shaw was instrumental in helping the Stampeders win the 1971 Grey Cup, their first in 23 years. For all of his accomplishments on and off the field, Shaw was added to the Stampeders Wall of Fame in 2012.
Greg Peterson, DB, 1984-1992
As a Calgarian, Peterson was acquired by the Stampeders as a Territorial Exemption in 1982. The defensive back would play nine years in the CFL, all with his hometown team. Over the course of his career, Peterson racked up 22 interceptions, 6 sacks, 8 fumble recoveries, and 305 tackles across 149 games played. Peterson’s best individual season came in 1990, as he was honoured as a West All-Star and a CFL All-Star. However, his best season with the Stampeders came in 1992 as he helped the team win the Grey Cup over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Peterson would retire after that season and begin his post-football career in Calgary – which included becoming the Stampeders radio commentator, a position he’s held since 1994.
Nik Lewis, WR, 2004-2014
One of the All-Time greats. A phenomenal personality and a fantastic football player, Nik Lewis was admired by all – on and off the field. A Stampeder for 11 years, Lewis compiled incredible statistics and mind blowing feats on the field. Not only was Lewis as sure-handed as they come, but he was extremely dangerous with the ball in his hands. He could leap an oncoming defender or run right through them, if he so desired. His exploits would earn him Rookie of the Year in 2004, five CFL West All-Star nods (2006, 2007, 2010-2012), an East All-Star selection (2016), three CFL All-Star bids, and two Grey Cup championships (2008, 2014). That’s not to mention that he stands as the CFL’s All-Time leader in receptions with 1,051. Despite only retiring after the 2017 season, Lewis has already been inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2021.
Joe Fleming, DL, 2000-2004
Although Fleming did not begin his CFL career with the Stampeders, it’s easy to see that his best years came whilst wearing the Red & White. He began his 10-year career with the BC Lions, before shipping out to Winnipeg for a stint with the Blue Bombers. He arrived in Calgary in 2000, where he became a stalwart on the defensive line. In his five years with the team, Fleming earned three CFL All-Star selections (2000, 2001, 2003) and won the 2003 CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award. He finished his career with one interception (which he returned 53 yards for a score), he had two receptions (one for a touchdown), 70 total sacks, and 283 total tackles over 145 games.
Kelvin Anderson, RB, 1996-2002
Running for 1,000 yards in a season is good, right? How about doing that in eight consecutive seasons? Well, that’s what Kevin Anderson did with the Stampeders and that still stands as a CFL record. The South Bend, Indiana native joined the Red & White in 1996 and proceeded to dominate the league, earning the Most Outstanding Rookie award after recording 1,068 yards on the ground and 10 touchdowns. Anderson would be a West All-Star five times (1997-2001) and a CFL All-Star three times (1998, 1999, 2001), while earning the West’s nomination for Most Outstanding Player in 1998 and 2001. Anderson finished his CFL career with 9,340 yards on the ground, 58 rushing touchdowns, 3,166 yards receiving, and 24 touchdowns through the air. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2017.
Ron Allbright, OL/DL, 1956-1967
One of the longest tenured players in Stampeders history, Allbright suited up with the Red & White for 12 seasons and 188 games played, which places him sixth all-time. From Calgary, Allbright suited up at Western Canada High School before playing junior with the Calgary Bronks. Albright played along an offensive line that led the league in scoring four times (1963, 1964, 1965, 1967), but he also suited up on the defensive side of the ball, playing defensive end and occasionally playing linebacker. In 2014, the organization recognized his accomplishments by placing him on the Wall of Fame. Allbright would pass away on July 9, 2016.
Harvey Wylie, DB, 1956-1964
Another Calgary native, Wylie was a natural athlete, excelling at hockey and baseball – even earning a try-out with the Chicago White Sox of the MLB. He would eventually remain in football, joining his Calgary Stampeders in 1956. The defensive back was phenomenal throughout his 9-year career, earning five straight West All-Star nods (1959-1963) and two CFL All-Star selections in 1962 and 1963. Wylie was also honoured as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 1962. In 139 career games, Wylie recorded 35 interceptions and 21 fumble recoveries. Wylie was also a punt returner, returning 257 punts for a 6.1 yard per punt average, and especially a prolific kick returner, returning 151 kickoffs for a 28.4 yard per kick average, scoring touchdowns of 105, 110, 104, and 102 yards from 1959 to 1962.
Jerry Keeling, QB/DE, 1961-1972
A quarterback also lining up as a defensive back? Yes, that’s just what Jerry Keeling did during his time with the Stampeders. Keeling spent 12 of his 15 seasons in the CFL with the Red & White, becoming one of the best quarterbacks in franchise history. In his career, Keeling compiled 1,393 rushing yards on 294 attempts, 18,239 passing yards, and 141 total touchdowns. He also added 22 interceptions, 1 defensive touchdown, and 10 fumble recoveries. Keeling’s crowning achievement in the CFL was ending Calgary’s 23-year Grey Cup drought when he led the team to the 1971 Championship. With all of his accomplishments, he became a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1989.
Marvin Coleman, DB, 1994-2000
A shutdown cornerback and a great kick returner, Coleman was a staple on the Stamps roster for seven fantastic seasons. As a Stampeder, Coleman received West All-Star nods four times (1996, 1997, 1998, 2000) and CFL All-Star recognition three times (1996, 1997, 2000). He was also a key member of the 1998 Grey Cup squad. Over his entire career, Coleman played in 166 games, recording 568 tackles, 28 interceptions, 12 fumble recoveries, 5,211 punt return yards, 5,565 kickoff return yards, and 6 return scores.