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Gore Carries Pro Bowl Tradition

by Eric Tellez ***21 January 2010*** nflpressbox@gmail.com


Frank Gore was added to the NFC Pro Bowl roster replacing the Rams Steven Jackson who will sit out the game with injury. The selection is Gore's second, his first since 2006, and continues a proud legacy of Pro Bowl players coming out of the 49ers backfield.

The first 49ers ball carrier selected to an All-Star game was fullback Joe Perry in 1949 during the days of the old All-America Football Conference. Perry is often considered the best back in team history and attended All-Star games in 1952, 1953, 1954 and 1958.

The first halfback to make the team, as well as the back with the most All-Star selections, is Hugh McElhenny who went to a total of 6 games. His first game was in 1952 and he was selected again in 1953, 1954, 1956, 1957, 1958. When mentioning the great backs in team history McElhenny is never far from the top of the list despite never leading the league in rushing or scoring more than 9 touchdowns in a season.

Fullback Ken Willard, who is probably the most overlooked back in team history, made the Pro Bowl in 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969. He started the 1965 and 1968 games. Do you remember who was the next 49ers fullback selected to a Pro Bowl?

Roger Craig was selected as a fullback for his first Pro Bowl in 1985. He would be named to NFC rosters in 1987, 1988 and 1989 as a halfback. Ricky Watters was also selected to 3 consecutive Pro Bowls from 1992-1994.

Garrison Hearst made the team in 1998 and 2001 while Charlie Garner earned a selection in-between being named to the 2000 NFC roster.

Here's a trivia question for you. Who was the first 49ers fullback to make the Pro Bowl after Roger Craig in 1985? Not Tom Rathman. Not William Floyd. It was Fred Beasley who started the 2003 game.

That's it for now, I'll be back on Saturday to go over next year's schedule. Email me at nflpressbox@gmail.com to talk 49ers or football in general. Et

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