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75 for 75: The Rams Killer


"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.


October 28, 1951

Gordy Soltau was the first in a long line of 49ers stars who feasted on the Rams. Former 49ers president Lou Spadia officially christened Soltau "The Rams Killer" after a series of spectacular performances against San Francisco's Southern California rivals.

Los Angeles first took notice of the 49ers kicker and receiver in 1951 when he personally accounted for 26 points in a 44-17 win over the Rams at Kezar Stadium. 

Soltau began his record-setting afternoon on the 49ers first drive by booting a 23-yard field goal. Early in the second quarter, quarterback Frankie Albert capped a 60-yard march by connecting with Soltau on a 10-yard scoring pass.

Quarterback Y.A. Tittle contributed to the fireworks in the second half. He relieved Albert of the signal-calling duties and threw just four passes, two of which were touchdown strikes of 13 and 48 yards, respectively, to Soltau.

Of course, after each touchdown, Soltau trotted back onto the field for the extra point attempt. He finished the day with six receptions for 143 yards, three touchdowns, five PATs and a 23-yard field goal. The one glitch in Soltau's historic day was a missed extra point; however, that came after he finished sprinting 48 yards with a Tittle scoring pass, an understandable miscue.   

Soltau's 26-point performance was a franchise record that stood for 39 years, until Jerry Rice's epic five touchdown, 30-point masterpiece against the Atlanta Falcons in 1990.

Soltau was a three-time Pro Bowl receiver with the 49ers from 1950 to 1958. He led the 49ers in scoring in eight of his nine years with the team, topping the NFL in both 1952 and 1953. He retired as the 49ers all-time leading scorer with 644 points (including 25 touchdowns and 70 field goals) that currently ranks fifth in team history. 

Off the field, Soltau led an adventurous life. During World War II, he saw action in the Pacific and in Europe as part of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). He was also one of the U.S. Navy's original frogmen, a group that would later become the Navy SEALS. After his playing days, Soltau worked as a commentator on 49ers radio and television broadcasts. He was enshrined in the 49ers Hall of Fame in 2012.

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