The San Diego Chargers can trace their lineage to August 1959, when Barron Hilton met with representatives from five other cities to discuss a proposed football league, which later became known as the American Football League (AFL).
The AFL began in 1960 with eight teams, including Hilton's Los Angeles Chargers, the Denver Broncos, Dallas Texans, Oakland Raiders, New York Titans, Houston Oilers, Buffalo Bills and the Boston Patriots.
After moving to San Diego in 1961, the Chargers went on to play nine more years in the AFL. In all, the Bolts reached the AFL playoffs five times and the AFL Championship four times. They won the AFL Championship in 1963 when they beat the Boston Patriots 51-10 before 30,127 fans at Balboa Stadium.
The AFL and the National Football League (NFL) merged before the 1970 season, and in 40 seasons since then, the Chargers have been the AFC West Champion nine times. The Chargers won the AFC Championship in 1994 beating the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-13. Unfortunately, they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 49-26 in Super Bowl XXIX for the NFL Championship.
Seven players and one head coach have been enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio as San Diego Chargers: Lance Alworth (1962-1970) Flanker, Fred Dean (1975-1981) Defensive End, Dan Fouts (1973-1987) Quarterback, Sid Gillman (1960-1969, 1971) Head Coach/General Manager, Charlie Joiner (1976-1986) Wide Receiver, Ron Mix (1960-1969) Offensive Tackle, Junior Seau (1990-2002) Linebacker, Kellen Winslow (1979-1987) Tight End.
Four other players who had played for the San Diego Chargers are also in the HOF: David (Deacon) Jones (1972-1973) Defensive End, Larry Little (1967-1968) Offensive Guard, John Mackey (1972) Tight End, Johnny Unitas (1973) Quarterback.
Their are four jersey numbers that the San Diego Chargers have retired Dan Fouts #14 in 1988, Lance Alworth #19 in 2005, Junior Seau #55 (1990-2002) in 2012, and LaDainian Tomlinson #21 in 2015. Ron Mix's number (74) was previously retired in 1969, but they un-retired it in 1971 when he came back to the NFL and played for the Raiders. There is talk that the Chargers might (and they should have a long time ago) retired Kellen Winslow's #80.