Re: Growing up a 49ers Fan at Kezar Stadium

05/03/21 - posted by Martin Steven Jacobs

My new book is available. It took almost a lifetime to complete.

My book is "THE KING" Hugh McElhenny- A San Francisco 49ers Legend", is 300 pages with 297 photos! It took me 70+ years to complete this book. It started when I became a fan of "The King" who played for the San Francisco 49ers during the 1950s and 60s. But it wasn't until the 1980s that our friendship grew and bonded throughout the years. We talk on the phone frequently.

McElheeny, now age 92 lives in Henderson, Nevada, and played 9-years for the 49ers (1952-60) and is a member of the famed "Million Dollar Backfield (Y.A. Tittle, Joe Perry and John Henry Johnson). He retired from professional football in 1964, and today is the fourth oldest living Hall of Famer still alive. In his day, he was considered the greatest "thrill runner" and ran with long strides and high knee action. His breakaway speed and his uncanny ability to change directions at will left defenders dazed and confused..

I grew up in the Sunset District and I have have been a native San Francisco 49ers fan for for 78 years. I feel I've reached my pinnacle in my life, as I always wanted to do a book on my hero from my childhood. McElhenny says, I extended his life with my book, and he is thrilled his grandchildren and great grandchildren will have this book to remember him by.

He earned the name "The King" in 1952, after his quarterback Frankie Albert watched then 20-year old rookie perform against the Chichago Bears that season. McElhenny's style of open-field running dazzled the fans. After he scored five touchdowns against the Bears (as three were called back), and a 94-yard punt return touchdown to top it off, Albert presented him with the game ball, and labeled him the "King" of the running backs, a nickname that is still recognized today by NFL fans.

My first personal contact with McElhenny was in 1980 at a sports card convention held at the Moscone Center in the city. Our friendship grew from then on.

The book is available at Green Apple books,, and directly from the author at

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