Continuing on with our look at the top 49ers by jersey number, we reach one of the most iconic numbers in 49ers history… along with another all-time great quarterback plus a receiver who is now on the other side of the bay.
Best 49er to wear No. 14: QB Y.A. Tittle (1952-1960)
Others: Marty Domres (1976), Jim Druckenmiller (1997-1998), Chad Hall (2012), Chris Harper (2016-2017), Bill Musgrave (1991-1994), J.T. O’Sullivan (2008), Kassim Osgood (2013-2014), Tom Owen (1974-1975), Dennis Patera (1968), Jim Plunkett (1976), Rashad Ross (2017), Jerome Simpson (2015-2016), Vinny Sutherland (2001), P Ray Wersching (1977-1987), Jeff Wilkins (1995-1996); Currently wearing No. 14 – WR DeAndre Carter
Tittle, who also wore 64 in 1951, played in San Francisco for 10 of his 17 seasons before being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. He rewrote the record book as a passer, setting new marks for passing yards (28,339), touchdowns (212), attempts and completions (2,118/3,817), and games played. Tittle was a part of the famed Million Dollar Backfield in 1953 with John Henry Johnson, Hugh McElhenny and Joe Perry, one of four seasons he was selected to the Pro Bowl as a 49er. Tittle was an All-Pro selection and UPI Player of the Year in 1957, the same season he and receiver R.C. Owens invented the alley-oop pass. Tittle was traded from the 49ers to the Giants in 1961, paving the way for John Brodie to take over full-time in San Francisco. Tittle would go on to play some of his best football with the Giants as he was a first team All-Pro from 1961 to 1963 and was named Most Valuable Player in 1963.
Best 49er to wear No. 15: WR Michael Crabtree (2009-2014)
Others: Jon Kilgore (1969), Jason McAddley (2005), Jim McCann (1971-1972), Lamar McHan (1963), Mike Moroski (1986), Christian Ponder (2016-2017), Jim Powers (1952-1953), Roell Preston (1999); Currently wearing No. 15 – Pierre Garcon
Crabtree stands out among a group of players who weren’t in a 49ers uniform very long. Crabtree, who will be remembered for among other things his beef with Seahawks corner Richard Sherman, had his best year as a 49er in 2012, when he caught 85 passes for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. He suffered a torn Achilles in 2013 and wasn’t re-signed by the 49ers after the 2014 season, after which he joined the Oakland Raiders.
Best 49er to wear No. 16: QB Joe Montana (1979-1992)
Others: Arnie Galiffa (1954), Jim Plunkett (1977), Norm Snead (1974-1975)
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A 4-0 Super Bowl record, a three-time Super Bowl MVP, a two-time NFL MVP, and an eight-time Pro Bowler (seven with the 49ers), Joe Montana is undoubtedly on the short list of the absolute to have ever played the game. He holds 49ers records in passing yards (35,124), attempts (2,929), completions (4,600), and touchdown passes (244). Montana’s No. 16 was rightfully retired in 1997, and there’s only one 49ers player — Jerry Rice — who can make a claim to the title of greatest in franchise history.
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