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49ers History

The Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame was created in 2009 in honor of the patriarch of one of the most storied franchises in all of professional sports. The Hall of Fame recognizes players, coaches and executives who have displayed one-or-more of the following qualifications: outstanding production and performance on the field, key contributions to the team’s success, and/or the embodiment of the spirit and essence of the San Francisco 49ers.

In 2009, members of the 49ers family who had already been selected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, or who had already had their jersey numbers retired by the 49ers organization were automatically enshrined in the team’s Hall of Fame. In 2010, Jerry Rice, as well as Tony and Vic Morabito were inducted; in 2011, Roger Craig and R.C. Owens joined this esteemed group; in 2012 Gordy Soltau was inducted, and in 2013 John McVay was added to the exclusive club.

The current selection committee includes: former radio voice of the 49ers, Joe Starkey; FOXSports.com editor and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee, Nancy Gay; San Jose Mercury News columnist, Mark Purdy; host of 49ers Total Access and KTVU-TV sports anchor, Joe Fonzi; 49ers Vice President of Football Affairs, Keena Turner; 49ers Director of Alumni, Guy McIntyre; 49ers Director of Marketing, Ali Towle; and 49ers Director of Public Relations, Bob Lange.


Class of 2009

Owner Edward DeBartolo Jr. (1977-2000)
DeBartolo is widely regarded as one of the most successful owners in the history of professional sports after taking over the 49ers in 1977. In 23 years at the helm, he guided the 49ers to a 22-11 postseason record and 13 division titles as San Francisco became the first franchise in NFL history to win five Super Bowl championships (1981, ’84, ’88, ’89 and ’94).

DT Leo Nomellini (1950-63)
Nomellini was the first ever draft choice after the 49ers joined the NFL.  He played in every 49ers game for 14 seasons and had 10 trips to the Pro Bowl. Nomellini played in 266 contests. “The Lion” became one of the few to be named to an All-NFL team on both offense and defense. Born June 19, 1924 in Lucca, Italy.

FB Joe Perry (1948-60, 63)
Perry was the first player in NFL history to gain 1,000 yards two consecutive seasons. His 9,723 rushing yards placed him second only to Jim Brown when he retired. Perry finished career with 12,505 combined yards. Nicknamed “The Jet” because of his quick starts.  Born January 22, 1927 in Stevens, AR.


RB Hugh McElhenny
McElhenny was one of only three players to gain more than 11,000 yards carrying the ball. He scored 60 career touchdowns, 38 rushing, including a 42-yard touchdown run on his first pro play in preseason.  Born December 31, 1928 in Los Angeles, CA.

QB Y.A. Tittle (1951-60)
Tittle finished career with 33,070 passing yards and 281 touchdowns (39 rushing). He won NFL MVP Award in 1961 and 1963. Tittle threw 33 touchdown passes and a career-high 3,224 yards in 1962. Born October 24, 1926 in Marshall, TX.

FB John Henry Johnson (1954-56)
Johnson was a member of “The Million Dollar Backfield” and “The Fabulous Foursome.” He gained 6,803 yards rushing, including 48 touchdowns. Born November 24, 1929 in Waterproof, LA.

T Bob St. Clair (1953-63)
St. Clair was known to be an exceptional offensive lineman. He also played goal line defense and blocked 10 field goals in 1956. St. Clair once lost five teeth when blocking a punt. He earned All-NFL honors three times and made five Pro Bowl Appearances. Born February 18, 1931 in San Francisco, CA.

Head Coach Bill Walsh (1979-88)
Walsh led “The Team of the ‘80s” to three Super Bowl titles (XVI, XIX, XXIII) in 10 years. He compiled a .617 winning percentage with a 102-63-1 mark. Notorious for his reputation as an outstanding offensive coach, Walsh developed the “West Coast Offense.” Born November 30, 1931 in Los Angeles, CA.

CB Jimmy Johnson (1961-76)
Johnson began his 49ers career as a defensive back, moved to offense, then stayed at defensive back in his third season. Johnson intercepted 47 passes for 615 yards. As a receiver in 1962, he caught 34 passes for 627 yards and four touchdowns. Recognized as one of the best man-to-man defenders in NFL history, Johnson played in five Pro Bowls and twice won the prestigious Len Eshmont Award selected by his teammates for inspirational play. He was born March 31, 1938, in Dallas, Texas.

QB Joe Montana (1979-92)
Montana, a third-round pick out of Notre Dame in 1979 was considered undersized with questionable arm strength, yet retired with highest QB rating (92.3) in NFL history. He led 31 fourth-quarter comebacks, including 92-yard game-winning drive in the closing moments of Super Bowl XXIII. Montana also led the 49ers to four Super Bowl championships in 1980s and was a three-time Super Bowl MVP. Montana played in eight Pro Bowls, ranks among the all-time leaders in passing yards (40,551) and touchdowns (273).

CB/S Ronnie Lott (1981-90)
Lott, a former USC star was the eighth overall pick in the 1981 draft. He was an All-Pro cornerback before switching to safety in the mid-80s. Lott played corner in first two Super Bowl wins, safety in last two. Lott ranks fifth on the list of all-time interceptors (63) and first with nine postseason interceptions. Lott played in 10 Pro Bowls and was the defensive leader of San Francisco's first four Super Bowl championship teams. He was named to Pro Football Hall of Fame’s 1980s All-Decade Team.

LB Dave Wilcox (1964-74)
Wilcox, a third-round pick out of Oregon in 1964 was excellent in every phase of linebacking play. Wilcox's coaches nicknamed him "The Intimidator" for his aggressive style of play. Wilcox was a master at shedding blocks and shutting down the run as well. Rams QB Roman Gabriel once said of Wilcox, "He plays outside linebacker the way Dick Butkus plays middle linebacker." Wilcox started in two NFC championship games and played in seven Pro Bowls.

QB Steve Young (1987-99)
Young stands as the most accurate passer in league history with a 96.8 quarterback rating. He threw 232 regular season touchdown tosses (17th all-time) and rushed 3,581 yards during his years at Tampa Bay (1985-86) and San Francisco (1987-99). He ranks 19th all-time with 33,124 yards passing and second in league history for rushing yardage by a quarterback with 4,239 yards. Young was a two-time NFL Most Valuable Player (1992 & 1994), Super Bowl XXIX MVP in 1994 and was named to the Pro Bowl seven consecutive years (1992-98).

DE Fred Dean (1981-1985)
Early in the 1981 season, Dean was shipped to the San Francisco 49ers where he continued to demonstrate his extraordinary talent. He contributed 12 sacks in 11 games for the 49ers en route to the team’s first Super Bowl victory. Dean played in three NFC championship games and in two of San Francisco’s Super Bowl victories (Super Bowls XVI and XIX). He earned all-conference honors four times – twice with the Chargers and twice with the 49ers. Dean was also named to four Pro Bowls (1980-1982, 1984) and selected All-Pro twice (1980-1981).


DT Charlie Krueger (1959-1973)
Krueger was drafted in the first round (9th overall pick) in 1958 by the 49ers out of Texas A&M. He was a two-time Pro Bowl selection (1960, 1964) and three-time All-Pro (1960,1965,1966) who anchored the defensive line for San Francisco during his 15 seasons. Born January 28, 1937 in Caldwell, TX.


QB John Brodie (1957-1973)
Brodie holds the team record with 17 years of service, ranking second in team history with 31,548 passing yards and third with 214 touchdown passes after being drafted third overall by the 49ers in 1957. Guided the 49ers to back-to-back NFC Championship games in 1970 and 1971 while being named NFL MVP in 1970. Born August 14, 1935 in Menlo Park, CA.


WR Dwight Clark (1979-1987)
Clark was a two-time Super Bowl Champion (XVI, XIX), Pro-Bowler (1981-1982) and first-team All-Pro (1982-1983), with 6,750 receiving yards and 48 touchdowns. Was the recipient of the winning touchdown pass from QB Joe Montana against the Dallas Cowboys in the 1982 NFC Championship game. Born January 8, 1957 in Kinston, NC.


Class of 2010

WR Jerry Rice (1985-2000)
Rice was a 13-time Pro Bowler and played for 20 seasons in the NFL, the first fourteen of which were with the 49ers.  At the time of his induction, he held 14 regular-season League records and 11 Super Bowl records. Rice had 14, 1,000-yard seasons in his career, along with the highest number of career receptions with 1,549 and 208 touchdowns.  He broke the 49ers franchise record of receptions against Seattle in 1991, and finished his career with just under three times the record. Born October 13, 1962 in Crawford, Mississippi.

Founder Tony Morabito (1946-1957) and Co-Owner Vic Morabito (1950-1964)
Tony Morabito established the Bay Area’s first major league professional sports franchise when the 49ers played their first season in 1946. The brothers from San Francisco transitioned the team from an upstart in the All-America Football Conference to a major NFL franchise in 1950. Signed future Pro Football Hall of Famers Joe Perry, Hugh McElhenny, John Henry Johnson, Y.A. Tittle, Bob St. Clair, Leo Nomellini and Jimmy Johnson and also attracted the likes of R.C. Owens, John Brodie, Charlie Krueger, Billy Wilson and many other top talents during their tenure. After Tony’s passing in 1957, Vic retained control of the organization until his own death in 1964. Throughout both the AAFC and the NFL, the 49ers went 128-110-6 during Tony and Vic Morabito’s era (including a trip to the AAFC Championship Game in 1949 and the NFC playoffs in 1957) and became one of the NFL’s premier franchises.


Class of 2011

RB Roger Craig (1983-1990)
An 11-year NFL veteran, Roger Craig spent eight seasons as a member of the 49ers after being drafted in the second round of the 1983 NFL Draft out of Nebraska. Known as a relentless competitor, Craig is one of the most versatile running backs to ever play the game, and in 1985, he became the first player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season. In eight seasons with the 49ers, Craig totaled 11,506 yards from scrimmage, which ranks second most in team history. He finished his NFL career with 8,189 rushing yards, 4,911 receiving yards and 73 total touchdowns, making the playoffs in each of his 11 seasons. The four-time Pro Bowler (1985, ’87-89) and one-time All-Pro (1988) won three Super Bowl titles with the 49ers (Super Bowls XIX, XXIII and XXIV) and was named AP Offensive Player of the Year in 1988.


WR R.C. Owens (1957-1961)
An eight-year NFL veteran, R.C. “Alley Oop” Owens spent his first five seasons as a member of the 49ers, totaling 177 receptions for 2,939 yards and 20 touchdowns with San Francisco.  His most productive year came in 1961 when he started all 14 games, caught 55 passes for 1,032 yards and scored five touchdowns. A former college basketball star, Owens transferred his skills over to the football field and was notorious for out-leaping defensive backs for high arching passes from QB Y.A. Tittle. Thus, the origin of the term “Alley Oop” was created, and later became more well-known from its use in basketball. A free agent in 1962, Owens went on to play with the Baltimore Colts and New York Giants, before retiring following the 1964 season. After his playing career ended, Owens spent more than two decades working for the 49ers. In that time, he held various positions for the team, including Director of Training Camp and Director of Alumni Relations.

Class of 2012

WR/K Gordy Soltau (1950-1958)
Gordy Soltau spent his entire nine-year NFL career as a member of the 49ers (1950-1958), excelling as both a pass-catching end and kicker. A three-time Pro Bowler (1951-53) and three-time All-Pro (1951, 1952, 1953), Soltau led the 49ers in scoring in eight of his nine seasons played, including an NFL-high in both 1952 and 1953. Upon his retirement in 1958, Soltau was the 49ers all-time leading scorer with 644 points. He recorded 249 catches for 3,487 yards and 25 touchdowns, while converting 70 of 139 field goals for 303 points, during a career in which he missed just two games. Prior to attending college, Soltau served in an elite branch of the Navy – the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) – where he became one of the original frogmen during World War II.

Class of 2013

VP and GM John McVay (1979-2003)
McVay played an integral role in the great success the franchise has achieved, helping to construct teams responsible for five Super Bowl victories. He joined the 49ers in 1979 as the team's Director of Player Personnel and went on to spend 21 seasons with the franchise. Among the many roles he filled throughout his tenure, served as Vice President and General Manager from 1983-94 before retiring in 1995. McVay rejoined the 49ers in 1999 and served as Vice President/Direct of Football Operations through the 2003 season.

EDWARD J. DeBARTOLO SR. 49ERS HALL OF FAME CLASS OF 2010: