49ers All-Time Tackle #1 - Bob St. Clair

While we're only 75+ votes in, Randy Cross is absolutely running away with the #2 guard position, which certainly doesn't surprise me.  Now that we've got both guards, we're going to move onto the all-time tackle positions.

The 49ers storied history has been filled with great players at several positions.  Offensive tackle is one of those positions.  In the dynasty era the 49ers trotted out the likes of Harris Barton, Steve Wallace and Keith Fahnhorst.  Before that they had Len Rohde and Cas Banaszek (guys I don't know a ton about, other than they were talented.

However, the big guy in all of this, the grand poo-bah of offensive tackles for the 49ers is Bob St. Clair.  The man produced on the field and was a local boy off the field.  St. Clair was a 49er from 1953 to 1963.  He made the Pro Bowl 5 times and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1990.

St. Clair was born in San Francisco and chose to attend the University of San Francisco (Go Dons!).  He was part of their undefeated 1951 team and after the disbanded the football team, he transferred to Tulsa.  He became the 9th member of that 1951 USF team to be selected in the draft.  For those looking for more info on that team, check out this article.  They went undefeated but were not invited to the Orange Bowl for racial reasons as USF had an integrated team, while its potential opponent, Georgia Tech, did not.

One of the more interesting pieces of information on St. Clair was the mayor of Daly City from 1961-1962.  Considering he was a Pro Bowler in 1961, that's pretty amazing.  Additionally, the field at Kezar Stadium was renamed Bob St. Clair Field in 2001.

St. Clair's playing time was clearly before I was even born so my knowledge of him is somewhat limited.  Over at sf49ers.com, they list all their Hall of Famers and had this to say:

Exceptional offensive lineman. Also played goal-line defense and blocked 10 field goals in 1956. Once lost five teeth when blocking a punt. Earned all-NFL honors three times and made five Pro Bowl appearances.

His Hall of Fame page said that:

He was blessed with size, speed, intelligence and a genuine love of hitting and, using these traits to the maximum; his on-the-field trademarks became hostility, power, and strength. He was an outstanding blocker, both on passing plays and rushing attempts...

His teammates nicknamed him "The Geek" because of several of his unusual lifestyle habits, such as eating all of his meat raw.

Does anything else really need to be said?  I know there are some folks here that got to see Bob St. Clair.  We'd love to hear stories about "The Geek" if you had a chance to watch him live.

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