If you aren’t familiar with Harry and Kitten Troutt, they are among the most extraordinary 49ers fans in the known universe. Harry, in fact, is in the fans’ wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. They have approximately 7 million items of memorabilia displayed in their Santa Rosa home, know just about everyone in Niners history on a first-name basis, and have a habit of showing up for every big event. Like the Hall of Fame induction ceremony.
The Troutts were in Canton this weekend to honor Jerry Rice. Here, reprinted by permission, is Kitten’s dispatch to me:
We’ve been having a ball since arriving in Canton Thursday. As members of Pro Football’s Ultimate Fans Assoc. since Harry’s formal induction in 2003 as the S.F. 49ers #1 Fan, we attended several events daily. The 3-hr. Grand Parade is always a blast & afterwards we had a 4 hrs. autograph session that had to be stopped because we ran out of time yet the fans kept coming. The induction was a full house both in the stadium & on the field where we sat. Jerry Rice’s after party was elegant in a huge tent outside the stadium & even introduced a “special drink” called the “SPLASH” and guests were treated to gourmet foods and live music by John Legend. Guests danced the night away while others congratulated Jerry & rekindled friendships. We got hugs & kisses from Randy Cross, Fred Dean, Dave Wilcox, Harris Barton, Freddie Solomon, Rod Woodson, Carlton Williamson, J.J. Stokes, Bob St.Clair, Merton Hanks, Steve Young, Joe Montana, Jed & John York, Denise DeBartolo-York, Eddie DeBartolo, and most brought their wives. Merton Hanks & TALL elegant wife were busy dancing the night away. Jerry was busy talking with everyone but took the time to chat with us several times. The gourmet food was fantastic, the decorations had large #80 throughout the tent and the service people were so very nice to all. Montana didn’t stay long but Steve Young remained ’til past midnight. He was very sweet to us and gave Harry a big hug. It made us feel extremely special & proud to be invited and have the players recognize us after so many years and after many thanks for all we did for them when they were rookie players. What touched me the most was when Eddie said that if we ever need anything to call him direct and he’ll have his assistant Amy take care of us – then he gave Harry a kiss on the cheek, a big hug and said a fond farwell. WE SIMPLY LOVE EDDIE.
That’s the news for now. We’re on our way to N.C. to visit Harry’s 95-year old mother & visit with his siblings. Back home next Thursday & will email you with any further news.