The San Francisco 49ers have been a part of Martin Jacobs'life since he was 9-years old. Now, he serves as a historian of the team, possessing a bank of knowledge and collection of 49ers memorabilia that is unrivaled.
Jacobs recently penned a book titled "San Francisco 49ers Legends: The Golden Age of Pro Football," detailing the franchise's history from 1946-60. The book can be purchased on Amazon.com. Jacobs was also the subject of an episode of "The Faithful" in 2014. You can watch the episode above.
49ers.com recently caught up with Jacobs to find out why his offering is a must-read for the team's die-hard fans.
49ers.com: What was your inspiration for writing the book?
Jacobs: "I was a vendor as a kid at Kezar Stadium, selling everything from sodas to hot dogs. Usually we stop working by the middle of the third quarter. I had an uncle who was a security guard at Kezar, and he would let me onto the field by the benches at the two-minute warning. I was on the bench, and I started collecting: bloody towels, torn jerseys, etc. I would scan the benches after games and grab programs, yearbooks, press guides, whatever. I was a true collector by the time I was 12 or 13.
"I started writing about the 49ers and putting together pages of notes. This book took me almost 67 years to put together. It's all taken from notes and interviews."49ers.com: Who did you talk to when writing the book?
Jacobs: "I interviewed many of the players: Hugh McElhenny, Joe Perry, Bob St. Clair, etc. I became friends with them, and they knew me by my first name. I also talked to Tony Morabito, the original owner. This book, I would say, is a definite history of the 49ers from 1946-60. I have a lot of things in the book that have never been mentioned before."49ers.com: What is a fun fact that most people don't know?
Jacobs: "Everyone thinks the name 49ers came from the prospector, when really, it was Tony Morabito taking the 49ers streamliner train to Chicago. He loved that train."49ers.com: Who is your favorite 49ers player of all-time?
Jacobs: "Hugh McElhenny. I have his 1955 jersey, his jacket from 1957, his shoulder pads from 1957 and I have a ton of autographed photos from him. He became my hero. I used to meet him after the games. In the Kezar days, you didn't have the fences or a lot of security. You could run on the field, talk with the players and walk with the players to the locker room."49ers.com: Do you have a favorite piece of 49ers memorabilia?
Jacobs: "Yes, it would have to be McElhenny's 1955 jersey. The reason is because he gave me that shirt in the parking lot after a game against the Baltimore Colts."49ers.com: What does the word "Faithful" mean to you?
Jacobs: "I've been a 49ers Faithful since 1952 and haven't missed a game since. It's 24/7, 365 days a year being a devoted and loyal fan. It started for me when I was 9-years old and I've never wavered through thick and thin. Win or lose, it's a part of me. It's like my middle name. It's like family."