The San Francisco 49ers are excited to announce the recipients of their 2010 team awards.
Len Eshmont Award: LB Takeo Spikes
The Len Eshmont Award is voted on by the players and is given to the 49er who best exemplifies the inspirational and courageous play of Len Eshmont, an original member of the 1946 49ers team. Eshmont, who coached at Navy and Virginia following his career in San Francisco, died in 1957. The award was established that year.
Spikes, who is tied for the team lead with 3 INTs, has eclipsed the 100-tackle mark for the 10th time in his 13-year career. It marks the first time he has received the award.
Bill Walsh Award: RB Frank Gore
The Bill Walsh Award was established in 2004 in honor of San Francisco's Hall of Fame Head Coach. Walsh served as the team's head coach for 10 seasons from 1979-88. In that time, he compiled a record of 102-63-1 and led the team to three Super Bowls. He was twice named Coach of the Year (1981, 1984) and was later named Coach of the Decade for the 1980s. The award, which is voted on by coaches, is given to the 49ers team MVP, honoring his outstanding individual performance.
Gore was on pace to register his fifth consecutive 1,000-yard season, but a hip injury in the 11th game of the season ended his productive season as he was placed on the Injured Reserve list. He finished the year with 853 rushing yards and 452 receiving yards. It marks the second time Gore has received the award (2006).
**Bobb McKittrick Award: G David Baas
**The Bobb McKittrick Award is given annually to the 49ers offensive lineman who best represents the courage, intensity and sacrifice displayed by the longtime offensive line coach, during his 21 years of service to the 49ers. The award was established by the 49ers in 1999, and is voted on by the offensive line.
It marks the second year in a row that Baas has earned the award. After a season-ending injury to Eric Heitmann in training camp, Baas was appointed the team's starting center, a position in which he hadn't played since his college days at Michigan.
**Hazeltine Iron Man Award: DT Justin Smith
**The Hazeltine Iron Man Award is named for former linebacker Matt Hazeltine, a 13-year performer who played more seasons at linebacker than any other 49ers player. Known for his durability and dedication, Hazeltine passed away in 1987 from ALS, and Bill Walsh established the award in his honor that year. The award is given annually to the most courageous and inspirational defensive player as voted upon by the defensive coaches.
Smith enters the season finale with a streak of 154 consecutive starts, which ranks 6th among all NFL players, 3rd among defensive players and 1st among defensive linemen. He's posted 5.5 sacks, while leading the team in quarterback pressures and hits. It marks the first time Smith has received the award.
**Thomas Herrion Memorial Award: RB Anthony Dixon and DT Will Tukuafu
**Thomas Herrion Memorial Award was established in 2005 by 49ers owners Denise and John York and is presented to a rookie or first-year player who best represents the dream of Thomas Herrion. The recipient has taken advantage of every opportunity, turned it into a positive situation and made their dream turn into a reality. The award is voted on by the coaches.
A sixth-round draft pick in 2010, Dixon has played in all 15 games, recording 59 carries for 215 yards and two touchdowns.
Tukuafu joined the 49ers as a rookie free agent during training camp and spent the majority of the season on the team's practice squad before being promoted to the active roster on December 18.