Sunday, April 6, 2014

San Francisco 49ers

Well, I've put it off as long as I can (posting teams with horizontal cards). I never liked the horizontal format in the 1972 set. Maybe it was because the colors on the Cardinals' and Jets' cards are so bland. In any case it was poor planning by me, because now I have almost nothing BUT horizontal cards left to post (49ers, Rams, Bears, Lions, Cardinals, Jets, Colts, and Bills).

Here are the 1972 San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers had a good run from 1970-72 at the end of QB John Brodie's career, winning the NFC West for those 3 seasons. They just couldn't get past the Cowboys each time. After 1972, the team faded, until finally making the playoffs (and winning the Super Bowl) in 1981.

John Brodie was the Niners' #1 pick (3rd overall) in the 1957 draft. He played 17 seasons (1957-73) in the NFL, all with San Francisco. John shared the starting job with Y. A. Tittle from 1958-60, then was the starter every year from 1961-73 (except for missing some time in 1963 and 1972).

He made the Pro Bowl in 1965 and 1970, and led the NFL in passing yardage in '65, '68, and '70, and in TDs in '65 and '70. He retired after the 1973 season as the 3rd greatest career passer. Brodie was also on the professional golf tour from 1981 to 1998.

Like John Brodie, Steve Spurrier was the 49ers' #1 pick (3rd overall). This time in 1967 - 10 years after Brodie's selection. Spurrier won the Heisman Trophy in 1966, and was the team's punter for his first 4 seasons, as well as the backup QB.

He filled in for Brodie in 1972, but after Brodie's retirement, the team went with rookie QB Tom Owen in 1974. Spurrier shared the starting job with Norm Snead in 1975, then finished his career in 1976 with the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Since his retirement as a player, Steve has been a college coach, as well as brief coaching stints in the USFL and NFL.

Vic Washington was drafted by the Niners in 1970, and was a starting running back and kick returner for them from 1971-73. He played the 1974 season with the Oilers, then ended his career as a kick returner with the Bills in '75 and '76.

The 49ers drafted Ken Willard #1 (2nd overall) in the 1965 draft, and he was their starting fullback for 9 seasons (1965-73), making the Pro Bowl 4 times.  Ken finished his career as a backup for the Cardinals in 1974.

Doug Cunningham was drafted by the 49ers in 1967. He played 7 seasons for them (1967-73), mostly as a kick returner, although he was also the starting halfback in 1969 and 1970.  He spent his final season (1974) with the Redskins.

The more accomplished of the two 1970s' wide receivers named Gene Washington, this one was drafted #1 by the 49ers in 1969.  He was a starting wide receiver for his 1st nine seasons, making the Pro Bowl in each of his first 4 seasons, and leading the NFL in reception yards (1100) in 1970. He missed the 1978 season, then started for the Lions in 1979.

Another first-round pick for the Niners in 1969 was Ted Kwalick.  Ted played 6 seasons with the 49ers, and was their starting tight end for 3 seasons (1971-73), making the Pro Bowl in all 3 seasons. He also played for the Raiders from 1975-77.

Forrest Blue was the team's #1 pick in 1968, and played 7 seasons with the 49ers.  He was the starting center in all but his rookie season, and was considered one of the best centers of his era.  He made the Pro Bowl in his last 4 seasons in San Francisco, then was the Colts' backup center from 1975-78.

Bruce Gossett kicked for the Rams (1964-69) and 49ers (1970-74). He led the NFL in field goal percentage in 1964 and 1973.

Drafted in the 3rd round in 1967, Frank Nunley played his entire career (1967-76) with the 49ers.  He was their starting middle linebacker from 1969-72, and 1974-76).

Dave Wilcox was drafted in the 3rd round in  1964, and was the 49ers' starting left linebacker for his entire 11-year career (1964-74).  He was a 7-time Pro Bowler, and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2000.

Jimmy Johnson played his entire 16-year career (1961-76) with the 49ers.  A 1st-round pick in 1961, he played two seasons as a backup and one as the free safety, then was the team's starting left cornerback for his final 13 seasons. He was a 5-time Pro Bowler and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.

Also check out the 1967 and 1971 49ers.

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