Former 49ers defensive end Fred Dean was elected to the Hall of Fame on Saturday, joining Washington Redskins wide receiver Art Monk and cornerback Darrell Green, New England linebacker Andre Tippett, Minnesota/Denver tackle Gary Zimmerman and senior committee choice, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Emmitt Thomas as the 2008 Hall of Fame class.
Although he weighed only 230 pounds, Dean was a fearsome pass rusher because of his speed and agility; blockers struggled to get their hands on him. He starred with the Chargers from 1975-81, then with the 49ers from 1981-85.
Dean played on six division winners (in 1981 he played on both the Chargers and 49ers division winners), and two Super Bowl Championship teams (Super Bowl XVI and Super Bowl XIX). The four-time Pro Bowler was also named an All-Pro in 1980 and 1981, All-AFC in 1979 and 1980, and All-NFC in 1981 and 1983.
"I didn't work for this," said Dean, who did not attend the Hall of Fame press conference on Saturday in Phoenix, Arizona. "I worked for the love of the game."
Dean will become the 12th player and the 13th member of the San Francisco 49ers to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, welcomed news to team owners John and Denise York.
"Denise and I would like to congratulate Fred Dean on his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame," said John York. "I am proud that he is joining the elite group of 49ers players who are enshrined in Canton. As one of the dominant defensive players of his era, Fred was perhaps one of the key performers in the 49ers first Super Bowl team, especially considering he had joined the team five games into the 1981 season. His acquisition played a direct role in two 49ers Super Bowl Championships. His career as a standout player cannot be overstated. Fred's induction is extremely important to our family and the 49ers organization. It is equally important to our fans and every 49ers player who has ever worn the uniform."
Inductions will be at the Pro Football Hall of Game in Canton, Ohio on Aug. 2.