Former 49ers end and kicker Gordy Soltau is one of three finalists for the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. San Francisco 49ers Hall of Fame. The three-time Pro Bowler recently spoke with 49ers.com to share his thoughts on the nomination.
Q: Congratulations on being nominated, what was your reaction to the news?
A: I’m excited about it. I was overcome with joy. I thought, “Wow, that’s really an honor and a privilege.” I hope it comes about.
Q: What does it mean to you to be a finalist amongst some of the team’s most prestigious members?
A: I appreciate the people who made the decision and I’m very excited about it. Ever since I played for the 49ers, it’s been, “You’re always a 49er.” I think you never lose that attitude.
Q: Do you feel like this is nice recognition for all your accomplishments here with the franchise?
A: Well, it really capped my life as a player and living in the community, which we have for over 60 years.
Q: Looking back on your career, what made the 49ers teams that you played for in the 1950s so special?
A: I was excited when I got traded out here in 1950. I was with Cleveland at the time when Coach Paul Brown told me, “You can stay here, but Buck Shaw wants you so badly. I’m going to let you go if you want to go.” Then he said, “You know you probably won’t play much for us this year, but if you go to San Francisco, you can play right now.” So I said, “I’ll go.”
Q: You led the team in scoring in eight of the nine years you played for the 49ers, what do you remember most about your experiences as a player?
A: I never regretted my decision to come to San Francisco. It’s been great to raise our family here and still live here. I’m 86 now, but I enjoy being out here as much as ever.
Q: What do you think of the two other finalists who have been nominated with you in Roger Craig and George Seifert?
A: I have a lot of respect for Roger and George, a great player and a great coach. George is an outstanding individual and is certainly deserving of it as anybody. It’s an honor to be included with him. Roger had a wonderful career both in college and with the 49ers. He played on some great teams and was a big factor. He’s an outstanding individual too. It’s a real credit to him.
Q: What do you think about the 49ers allowing their fans to vote for the team’s Hall of Fame’s finalists?
A: I think that’s a good way to do it. The public likes to get involved and they should be a part of it. The fans should they have their say so I’m sure they’ll be interested in voting.
Q: Any messages for the fans who are voting for you?
A: Well, I appreciate their votes. It would be very nice to win.