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 39 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: RB Hugh McElhenny (1952-1960)
Nobody wears this number now, and it is for good reason! Hugh McElhenny sported the number with the 49ers for nine years, and was eventually inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970. Kermit Alexander wore the number for seven years from 1963 to 1969, but once McElhenny was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1970, the 49ers retired his number the following year.
The 49ers actually retired several numbers at the same time as McElhenny. They retired his number along with those of fullback Joe Perry and defensive tackle Leo Nomelini. The 49ers have a lot of historic greats throughout franchise history, but those three were a big part. McElhenny and Perry were part of the 49ers famed Million Dollar Backfield. This group consisted of McElhenny, Perry, fullback John Henry Johnson and quarterback Y.A. Tittle.
The group is the only full backfield to all be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Perry was the leading rusher on the team, at one pointing sitting as the NFL's all-time leading rusher. But McElhenny was a key component. He took home Rookie of the Year, and in that same year he was voted to the Pro Bowl team and first-team All-Pro. He would go on to earn six Pro Bowl nods and five All-Pro teams. He was also named to the NFL's All-1950s team. All in all, he had himself a very solid career.