In another expected result, Jesse Sapolu ran away with the all-time center vote. In another interesting, but not entirely shocking result, Eric Heitmann grabbed 10% of the vote. Having current guys on the ballot can probably lead to some slightly skewed results. Given some of the upcoming votes, I'll be opening this up for a little more debate in the next week or so. For now though, it's time to move down the offensive line to the offensive tackle. I elected to declare Bob St. Clair the 49ers' #1 offensive tackle. St. Clair was a local product (Go Dons!) and a hall of famer as an offensive tackle. I probably should have done the same and declared Dave Wilcox one of the OLBs because of that, but such is life.
So, we now move on to the #2 offensive tackle on our all-time team. The 49ers have a long history of solid offensive tackles, and maybe one day Joe Staley will join this list. I'm sure I've missed plenty of guys, but I wanted to keep the list to 5. The toughest one to keep off had to be Kwame Harris. It breaks me up to not have him here
Harris Barton (1987-1996): Barton was a no nonsense offensive lineman who you didn't hear much about, but he was always there doing his job. Barton won 3 Super Bowl with the 49ers, while earning two First Team All-Pro appearances and a trip to the Pro Bowl. In his rookie year, Barton was the runner up in Rookie of the Year voting. Barton was apparently recruited by over 100 colleges before attending the University of North Carolina. He currently works in private equity funds and is apparently one hell of an amateur golfer.
Steve Wallace (1986-1996): My favorite memory of Steve Wallace came in the game where his "helmet shell" came off and Steve Young had to put it back on for him. I think it was in 1994 when they won the Super Bowl, but I honestly can't remember. I'm not sure why I so easily recall it, but I guess I'm just easily amused. Like Barton, Wallace took home 3 Lombardi Trophies and earned a Pro Bowl appearance. Finally, Steve Wallace was also the inspiration for a fun list post at an anti-49ers website.
Keith Fahnhorst (1974-1987): While plenty of players have played on bad teams that became good, the symmetry of Fahnhorst's career is intriguing. From 1974-1980, the 49ers were 34-70. From 1981-1987, they were 74-29-1. For more recent 49ers fans, that would be the exact opposite of Bryant Young's career. Matt Maiocco wrote a book on past 49ers and had an interesting chapter on Fahnhorst.
Len Rohde (1960-1974): Rohde played for the last three playoff teams before the Bill Walsh era. During that time Rohde played in 208 consecutive games, earning one trip to the Pro Bowl, as well as a second team and honorable mention selection. During his time with the 49ers, the team led the NFL in points scored in 1965 and 1970 and the NFC in 1972.
Cas Banaszek (1968-1977): Banaszek manned the other tackle position with Rohde. He was actually drafted out of Northwestern as a pass catching tight end, but was switched to the offensive line after an injury his rookie season. While never a Pro Bowler, he was named to the all-NFC offensive line in 1970.