You’ve seen it all across the Bay Area. 1981 NFC Championship Game. Candlestick Park. Fifty-one seconds left. Back of the end zone. Full extension. Touchdown.
Now the man who made The Catch will be enshrined in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Dwight Clark is one of four members of the BASHOF Class of 2011, and he’s not the only one with 49ers connections. Two-time Super Bowl-winning coach George Seifert is also a member of this year’s class, which is set to be enshrined on March 7.
Along with Clark and Seifert, golfers Juli Inkster and Frank “Sandy” Tatum round out the Class of 2011.
Unlike most halls of fame, the BASHOF isn’t a hall at all. You can’t go there and find memorabilia from the inductees. Instead, the BASHOF is a non-profit organization that distributes sports-equipment grants to youth organizations across the Bay Area. It holds several events throughout the year, including the induction ceremony, to raise funds.
Clark and Seifert will join many other former 49ers in the BASHOF including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Y.A. Tittle and Eddie DeBartolo Jr. In all, there are nearly 20 BASHOF members with 49ers connections.
No matter where he goes, people still as Clark to raise his arms and pose like he’s making his celebrated Catch. The former wide receiver doesn’t mind, but there was more to his career than that NFC-clinching reception. The author of one of the most famous plays in NFL history spent all nine of his NFL seasons with the 49ers and was named All-Pro twice, made as many Pro Bowl teams and won two Super Bowls.
He finished his career with 506 receptions for 6,750 yards and 48 touchdowns. Clark’s best year came in the strike-shortened 1982 season when he led the NFL with 60 receptions in nine games. After his retirement, Clark’s No. 87 was retired by the 49ers and he later went on to serve as a team executive.
Two numbers best sum up Seifert’s eight years at the helm of the 49ers. Two and 68. The first is how many Super Bowls he won; the second is how many games over .500 his teams were. Pretty impressive for the guy who had to follow arguably the best coach in NFL history. Seifert led the 49ers to 14 wins and their second consecutive Super Bowl title in 1989, the year after Bill Walsh retired, and brought the Lombardi Trophy to San Francisco again five seasons later.
Between 1989 and 1996 his teams won at least 10 games every season, and his playoff record was 10-5. Seifert joined Walsh’s staff in 1980 and spent three years coaching the defensive backs before being promoted to defensive coordinator. In six seasons as DC, his unit ranked in the top-10 every time.
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