The San Francisco 49ers and the York family announced that Roger Craig and R.C. Owens will be the 2011 inductees into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame. The induction, to be held the weekend of November 12-13, 2011, will honor Craig and Owens for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the 49ers organization. The two will also be recognized during halftime of the 49ers vs. New York Giants game on November 13.
"The 49ers take tremendous pride in honoring those who have made a significant impact on the history of our franchise throughout the years," said 49ers President and CEO Jed York. "On behalf of the fans and our entire organization, I am proud to announce Roger Craig and R.C. Owens will be inducted into the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame later this year.
"Roger proved to be a relentless competitor from the minute he stepped onto the field as a 49ers rookie. He is the definition of a winner, having helped his teams reach the playoffs in each of his 11 professional seasons.
"R.C. is considered one of the greatest athletes of his time. For many years, 49ers fans were treated to his high-flying, acrobatic 'alley-oop' catches. Following a storied playing career, the 49ers organization was fortunate to have R.C. serve as an instrumental administrator for the team."
This past June, the 49ers announced that the team's "Faithful" fans would have an opportunity to annually select one of three finalists, chosen by the 49ers Hall of Fame selection committee, to become a member of the Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame. This year, Craig received the most votes on 49ers.com among fellow finalists George Seifert and Gordy Soltau, during the month-long voting period.
In addition to the fan selection, each year 49ers Ownership will also select at least one inductee. This year's Ownership selection is Owens.
As a prerequisite for induction, all 49ers Hall of Fame candidates must 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.
The 2011 Inductees
Roger Craig - 49ers Running Back 1983-90
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.
R.C. Owens – 49er Wide Receiver 1957-61
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.
The Edward J. DeBartolo Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame selection process is as follows:
- A list of 10 semi-finalists is submitted by the 49ers alumni department to the 49ers Hall of Fame selection committee.
- The selection committee meets and deliberates on the candidates, narrowing the field to three finalists for the fan voting process.
- The results of the fan vote, via 49ers.com, will determine one inductee each year.
- 49ers Ownership will select at least one additional inductee each year. Those people named as finalists in the fan voting process will not be considered in the Ownership selection.
- The "Fan" and "Ownership" inductees will be announced in August each year.
The 49ers Hall of Fame 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**.
**The Edward J. DeBartolo 49ers Hall of Fame
**Established in 2009 and dedicated to Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., the patriarch of one of the most storied franchises in all of professional sports, the 49ers Hall of Fame was created to recognize players, coaches and executives who have made exceptional contributions to the organization.