As we look through 49ers history, Roger Craig and Frank Gore usually get a ton of love in the argument over best running back in 49ers history. Roger Craig was a dual rushing/receiving threat while Marshal Faulk and Ladanian Tomlinson were still learning about football. Frank Gore has put up some monster numbers in a short period of time while playing on some fairly abysmal offenses. Both are great running backs.
However, before Craig or Gore, or Ricky Watters or anybody else came along, the 49ers had a running back named Joe Perry. Although Frank Gore is climbing the team's all-time leaderboard, Joe Perry remains the franchise's all-time leading rusher with 8,689yards and 68 rushing touchdowns. He made his way into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1969 after a career that included one MVP, two first-team All Pros, and three Pro Bowl nods. He was a part of the Million Dollar backfield that included Hugh McElhenny, John Henry Johnson, and Y.A. Tittle.
in light of his passing, I know we've got some NN community members that have been 49ers fans since waaaaay back in the day. All I know about Perry and those old 49ers days is what I've read on the Internet and in books. If you had a chance to watch Perry play, or have stories you heard from your dad or grandfather, feel free to post them in the comments.