SANTA CLARA — The day after Dwight Clark died, two spokespeople from the 49ers came out and talked about his legacy. They were head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch.
“Yesterday was a tough day for all the 49ers, losing such a great like that,” Shanahan said. He and Clark got to know each other from 1992 to 1994, when Clark worked in the 49ers personnel department and Shanahan worked as a ball boy for the team.
“Everyone knows the player Dwight was,” Shanahan continued. “I heard a lot about him when I moved here, mainly from my parents, because we moved here when I was in sixth grade. I didn’t grow up knowing all about The Catch. But within a week of being here, I knew all about it.
“Spent sixth grade, seventh grade and eighth grade as a ball boy, where I got to spend a lot of time with Dwight. He and Vinny Cerrato worked in the pro personnel department. Those were two guys I hung around a lot. They used to pick on me left and right. I was their guinea pig. They would send me on errands. They would all have golf carts and make me race next to them. I would have to run, and I would always lose. I think I entertained them. I just looked up to all of them. I didn’t know it at the time, but now that I’m older and I look back on that stuff, it had a huge impact on who I am now, and feel fortunate to be able to grow up around people like that, especially Dwight.”
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