The 49ers this season will honor the memory of San Francisco native and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bob St. Clair with a memorial decal and lapel pin featuring No. 79.
St. Clair died on April 20. He was 84.
St. Clair played 19 seasons -- from Polytechnic High to the University of San Francisco to the 49ers -- with San Francisco’s Kezar Stadium as his home field. He was a third-round draft pick of the 49ers in 1953.
In 2001, the City of San Francisco and the Recreation and Parks Department dedicated the Kezar playing surface in his honor, naming it Bob St. Clair Field.
St. Clair was one of three future Pro Football Hall of Famers of the legendary 1951 USF team that went undefeated but turned down an invitation to the Orange Bowl because officials declared only the white players were allowed to participate.
“We pulled out of the Bowl bid because it was the right thing to do, and the only thing to do — we were a family,” St. Clair said in the documentary ’51 Dons.
St. Clair was an imposing figure, standing 6-foot-9 and weighing 265 pounds. And his personality was just as large. Upon beginning his professional career, the 49ers’ veterans nicknamed him “The Geek” for his preference for eating raw meat.
He was elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990. The 49ers retired his No. 79 jersey in 2001.