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Historical Highlights

The San Francisco 49ers have 14 members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with players representing each era of 49ers football. Take a look at some of the greatest players in team history and read up on their accomplishments with the 49ers.

1969 DT Leo Nomellini (1950-63)

Nomellini was the first-ever draft choice after the 49ers joined the NFL and played every 49ers game for 14 seasons. Altogether, he played in 174 consecutive regular season games, and counting ten 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. He retired at age 39. Nomellini also played college ball at the University of Minnesota. Nomellini was born June 19,1924, in Lucca, Italy.

1969 FB Joe Perry (1948-60, 63)

Perry was a three-time Pro Bowler (1952-54), two-time first-team All-Pro (1953-54), one-time All-AAFC (1949) and the NFL’s Most Valuable Player by UPI (1954), He was the first player to ever record consecutive 1,000 yard rushing seasons (1953-54). Perry finished his career with 9,723 rushing yards on 1,929 carries (5.0 avg.) with 71 touchdowns on the ground, while adding 2,021 receiving yards on 260 catches and 12 touchdowns through the air, in 181 games played. During his career, Perry broke the NFL record for most career rushing yards, a total that was later eclipsed by Jim Brown. Perry was famously nicknamed "The Jet" because of his quick starts. He also played for the Baltimore Colts (1961-62). Perry attended Compton Junior College and was born January 22, 1927, in Stevens, Arkansas.

1970 HB Hugh McElhenny (1952-60)

One of only three players to gain over 11,000 yards carrying the ball, McElhenny scored 60 career touchdowns, 38 rushing, including a 42-yard touchdown run on his first pro play in preseason. In 1952, McElhenny had the longest punt return (94) and longest play from scrimmage (89). He once scored two touchdowns in his first Pro Bowl after his rookie year. McElhenny also played for Minnesota Vikings (1961-62), New York Giants (1963), and Detroit Lions (1964). He played college football at University of Washington and was born December 31, 1928, in Los Angeles, CA.

1971 QB Y.A. Tittle (1951-60)

Tittle had 17 years of NFL experience, finishing his career with 33,070 passing yards and 281 touchdowns (39 rushing). He won NFL Most Valuable Player Award in 1961 and '63. Tittle threw 33 touchdown passes and a career-high 3,224 yards in 1962. In '63 he threw 36 touchdowns, completing 60.2 percent of his passes. Tittle also played for the Baltimore Colts (1948-50) and the New York Giants (1961-64). He played college ball at Lousiana State University and was born October 24, 1926, in Marshall, Texas.

1987 FB John Henry Johnson (1954-56)

Johnson was a member of what's been noted as the finest backfield in NFL history. The foursome known as "The Million Dollar Backfield" and "The Fabulous Foursome" included three other Hall of Famers-QB Y.A. Tittle and running backs Joe Perry and Hugh McElhenny. Johnson gained 6,803 yards rushing, including 48 touchdowns. He also played for the Detroit Lions (1957-59), Pittsburgh Steelers (1960-65), and Houston Oilers (1966). Johnson ttended St. Mary's College and Arizona State University. He was born November 24, 1929, in Waterproof, LA.

1990 T Bob St. Clair (1953-63)

St. Clair was an exceptional offensive lineman for the 49ers. He also played goal-line defense and blocked 10 field goals in 1956. St. Clair once lost five teeth when blocking a punt. He arned all-NFL honors three times and made five Pro Bowl appearances in his career. St. Clair attended the University of San Francisco and Tulsa. He was born February 18, 1931, in San Francisco, CA.

1993 Head Coach Bill Walsh (1979-88)

Walsh led "The Team of the '80s" to three Super Bowl titles (XVI, XIX, XXIII) in 10 years. Compiled a .617 winning percentage with a 102-63-1 mark that included 10 wins in 14 postseason games. Notorious for his reputation of being an outstanding offensive coach, Walsh developed what is now known as the "West Coast Offense." Named NFL Coach of the Year in 1981 and '84. He attended San Jose State and was born November 30, 1931, in Los Angeles, CA.

1994 CB Jimmy Johnson (1961-76)

Johnson was a starter on both offense and defense at UCLA. He 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, including five interceptions in his rookie year. 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.

2000 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. He led the league in completions percentage five times, passing yardage twice. Montana played in eight Pro Bowls, ranks among the all-time leaders in passing yards (40,551) and touchdowns (273).

2000 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, where his excellence continued and his reputation grew. Lott played corner in first two Super Bowl wins, safety in last two. Known for his ferocious tackling, Lott was excellent in coverage, too. He ranks fifth on the list of all-time interceptors (63) and first with 9 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. He is regarded as one of the best at stuffing tight ends at the line of scrimmage, preventing them from running pass routes. 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.

2005 QB Steve Young (1987-99)

Young was the 12th 49er to join the Hall of Fame football fraternity and the third quarterback. He stands as the most accurate passer in league history with a 96.8 quarterback rating. Young 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 recorded 28, 300-yard passing games, holding an NFL record for most consecutive 300-yard games with six in 1998. Young led the league in passing an NFL record four consecutive seasons (1991-94). 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. His 43 rushing touchdowns rank first in pro football history by a quarterback too. 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). He was picked in the first round of the 1984 Supplemental Draft by Tampa Bay. Young attended Brigham Young and was born October 11, 1961, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2008 DE Fred Dean (1981-1985)

Early in the 1981 season, Dean was shipped to the San Francisco 49ers were 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). Dean’s finest year came two seasons later when he led the NFC with a career-high 17.5 sacks. In all, Dean played on five division winners. He played in three NFC championship games and in two of San Francisco’s Super Bowl victories (Super Bowls XVI and XIX). Dean earned all-conference honors four times – twice with the Chargers and twice with the 49ers. He was also named to four Pro Bowls (1980-1982, 1984) and selected All-Pro twice (1980-1981).  Born on February 24, 1952.

2010 WR Jerry Rice (1985-2000)

Rice is widely regarded as the greatest wide receiver to ever play the game. The 13-time Pro Bowler holds nearly every all-time record for wide receivers, including receptions (1,549), receiving yards (22,895) and touchdown receptions (197). In all, Rice holds 14 regular-season records. He played 20 seasons in the NFL, spending his first 16 with the 49ers. While in San Francisco, Rice won three Super Bowl rings and was named an All-Pro 10 times. He was also a two-time AP Offensive Player of the Year (1987, 1993). Rice caught at least one pass in 274 consecutive games from his rookie year in 1985 through September 2004. He has an NFL-record 14 seasons with 1,000-or-more receiving yards (1986-1996, 1998, 2001-02) and set an NFL single-season receiving yardage record in 1995 with 1,848 yards. He was drafted in the first round (16th overall) by San Francisco in 1985 out of Mississippi Valley State. Rice was born on October 13, 1962 in Crawford, Miss. Rice is the 14th member of the San Francisco 49ers to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.