A look back at 56 years of the San Diego Chargers


Chargers runningback LaDainian Tomlinson on the sidelines late in the game as the San Diego Chargers defeated the Oakland Raiders by a score of 27 to 14 at McAfee Coliseum, Oakland, California, October 16, 2005. (Photo by Robert B. Stanton/NFLPhotoLibrary)

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SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Chargers have called America's Finest City home for 56 years, but that changed Thursday when team owner Dean Spanos announced they were moving to Los Angeles.

San Diego's relationship with the team began when the Chargers moved to Balboa Stadium in 1961 after spending one year in Los Angeles.  The Chargers spent six seasons in the stadium near downtown as part of the American Football League.   Two years later, they won the AFL title, and reached the playoffs five times and the championship four times before joining the NFL in 1970 as part of of the NFL-AFL merger.

In 1967, the Chargers moved to a new home in Mission Valley, which was named Jack Murphy Stadium in 1981 and changed to Qualcomm Stadium in 1998.

During their NFL history, the Chargers made the playoffs 13 times and went to the AFC championship four times.  The team has been to the Super Bowl just once -- losing to the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl 29 in 1995. The Chargers have seven players and one coach enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio: Wide Receiver Lance Alworth, Quarterback Dan Fouts, Head Coach/General Manager Sid Gillman, Wide Receiver Charlie Joiner, Offensive Lineman Ron Mix, Tight End Kellen Winslow, Defensive End Fred Dean and, most recently, Linebacker Junior Seau.

And as far as future Bolts going into the hall, look for Running Back Ladainian Tomlinson, Tight End Antonio Gates and Quarterback Philip Rivers to be there someday.

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