The San Francisco 49ers kick off the 2015 NFL regular season on Monday Night Football, on September 14. That game. means San Francisco is now a mere 34 days away from kicking off its 2015 regular season. In the spirit of that approaching date, I thought I would steal this idea from our Oakland Raiders site.
Who wore it best: FB Joe Perry (1948-1960, 1963)
Only three players have wore the number 34 in 49ers history, and it is going to stay that way. The number was last worn by fullback Joe Perry during his career as part of the team's Million Dollar Backfield. He was listed as a fullback, but that was a vastly different era of football. By the end of his career, Perry was the 49ers all-time leading rusher, and briefly the NFL's leading rusher.
The record books often do not account for his first three seasons when the 49ers were part of the AAFC, but factoring that in, he had 9,723 career rushing yards, with 8,689 coming with the 49ers. He was surpassed on the NFL's all-time rushing leaderboard in 1964 by Jim Brown. And of course, we know he was surpassed by Frank Gore on the 49ers leaderboard back in 2012.
Perry was voted to three Pro Bowls, and was named first team All Pro on two occasions. He was voted into the Hall of Fame in 1969, with all four members of the Million Dollar Backfield (Perry, John Henry Johnson, Hugh McElhenny, and Y.A. Tittle) earning spots in Canton. Unfortunately, Perry joined Johnson in succumbing late in their life to the effects of CTE. Both men donated their brains to be examined by researchers at Boston University.