"75 for 75" is an article series from the 49ers Museum highlighting legendary moments in 49ers history as part of the team's 75th Anniversary celebrations in 2021.
December 30, 2012
Frank Gore's two-yard touchdown plunge in a 27-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals on the final day of the 2012 season put the 49ers running back in rare company.
It was Gore's 51st-career rushing score, the most by a 49ers player since the team joined the National Football League. He hurdled past Roger Craig and Joe Perry to the top of the club's all-time touchdown rushing list and made a case for himself as the greatest running back in 49ers history. He also earned praise from coaches, teammates and opponents around the league.
"Frank's just an amazing person, an amazing player," former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman once said. "You kind of wish everybody, all the fans, could be around him just to see how special a guy he is, how committed he is to his team and it's from the heart. It's not a bunch of fake rah-rah. This guy lives it, breathes it and it means so much to him. He's been a fearless leader for us since we've gotten here. And I know before then as well."
In the wake of his record, Gore continued to produce. He notched over 1,000 ground yards in both 2013 and 2014 giving him a franchise-record eight 1,000-yard rushing seasons during his 10-year 49ers career.
The former third-round draft choice from Miami now stands alone atop 49ers running backs with franchise records for career rushing attempts (2,442), rushing touchdowns (64), 100-yard games (39) and all-time running yards (11,073).
Gore also established a team single-game Super Bowl record by rushing for 110 yards and a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl XLVII.
"Frank is the most underrated football player, and this is not hyperbole, that I've ever known," former 49ers quarterback Steve Young once said. "He's a well-known player, but no one understands how great he really is. He's one of the best backs I've ever seen or watched play."
The five-time Pro Bowl pick's enormous contributions were duly recognized in the team's locker room. Beside his formidable running skill, Gore was a hard-nosed blocker and terrific receiver posting 110 catches and 11 touchdowns through the air with the 49ers. Gore's coaches considered him the consummate professional and twice selected him for the Bill Walsh Award, which is voted on by the coaching staff, and given annually to the 49ers Most Valuable Player.
"Frank is one of the best in the league at what he does," Jim Harbaugh said of Gore. "He's not afraid to get in there and do the dirty work. You always want your guy to go in and compete and help your team win. And Frank does that as good as or better than anybody in the league."