Yesterday morning, the San Francisco 49ers announced that John McVay would become the 24th inductee into the Edward J. DeBartolo, Sr. 49ers Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held October 12, 2013, and McVay will be further recognized the next day at halftime of the 49ers game against the Arizona Cardinals.
Bill Walsh initially brought in McVay in 1979, and McVay served a variety of roles over the course of 21 years with the franchise. He served as general manager, vice president, contract negotiator, and a host of other roles as Bill Walsh's No. 2 man. While Bill Walsh gets plenty of glory for rebuilding the 49ers, McVay was a key cog in that process. Based on all the stories I've read, I don't think any one position could best describe what McVay did for and meant to the 49ers. Considering the sometimes tempestuous relationship between Eddie DeBartolo and Bill Walsh, his most important role might have been as intermediary between them.
McVay met with the media on Monday, which gave him a chance to regale them with stories of his time with the 49ers. Here are a few of the stories that are worth reading:
He described standing on a fire escape at the 49ers' old facility in Redwood City during a tryout when Bill Walsh instantly picked out Bill Ring and told McVay to sign him. Then there was safety Dwight Hicks, who McVay tracked down in a Michigan health-food store to come and join a secondary that Hicks would dub, 'Dwight Hicks and The Hot Licks."
[Dwight] Clark made "The Catch" just as McVay was preventing a police horse from kicking or stepping on frantic club owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. on the sideline.
With DeBartolo's resources as well as the know-how of McVay and Walsh, San Francisco started a breeding ground for talent, both in uniform and on the sideline. According to McVay's memory, this is how an exchange would go between he and his coach and DeBartolo.
"Eddie, we need a tight end."
"Well, get one. Better yet, get two."