Former San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bob St. Clair died on Monday. He was 84.
St. Clair spent his entire 11-season NFL career, which spanned from 1953 to 1963, with the 49ers. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1990.
The longtime 49ers offensive lineman was raised in the Bay Area, where he eventually attended University of San Francisco to play football. He transferred to Tulsa for his senior season after San Francisco dropped its football team, but he returned to his hometown in 1953 when the 49ers drafted him in the third round of the NFL draft.
St. Clair was known for his toughness. He once stayed in a game even after losing five teeth on a blocked kick, and on another occasion he played a quarter with a broken shoulder, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
St. Clair made the Pro Bowl five times in a six-season span from 1956-1961.
University of San Francisco director of athletics Scott Sidwell released a statement mourning the loss of St. Clair:
"On behalf of the entire USF community, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to the St. Clair family on the passing of one of the greatest Dons of all-time," said USF director of athletics Scott Sidwell. "Bob was a great San Franciscan who along with his '51 Dons' teammates, embodied the character and values of our University by taking a courageous stand against racism in the early 50s. He will be greatly missed."
- Stanley Kay