The San Francisco 49ers announced Tuesday afternoon they have inducted Tom Rathman into their Hall of Fame.
Here is a statement from Rathman, courtesy of the 49ers P.R. department: “I’ve always considered myself a 49er and I always will consider myself a 49er. I’ll take that brand with me wherever I go because that’s who I am. It feels great to be with the guys who are already in the 49ers Hall of Fame. Dating back to Joe Perry, it’s an honor to be associated with the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ronnie Lott, Roger Craig and Dwight Clark. That’s a lot of history right there. To be able to say that you’re in a fraternity with those guys so to speak, the 49ers Hall of Fame fraternity, says volumes. It’s pretty special.”
Here’s a statements from Roger Craig: “He has a huge heart. He’d take his shirt off of his back for you. That’s the kind of guy he is. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s like my brother.”
Here’s a statement from Ronnie Lott: “Tom Rathman has given so much to the 49ers with his heart, courage and teaching skills. His tenacious attitude for giving his all on every play makes him a shoe-in for the 49ers Hall of Fame. He should have played defense!”
Here’s a statement from Garrison Hearst: “Tom Rathman is the best coach I ever had professionally. It was easy to play for someone who had done it. He knew the details. Everything he taught you, you’d see it work. Even other coaches looked at Tom and said, ‘Dang, that guy knows what he’s doing.’ If other coaches are looking at him like that, how am I not going to look at him the same way, if not more? He carried a real big stick.”
And here’s a statement from Frank Gore: “I could tell that he really cared about what I was doing. I look at him like a father. He came into my career at the right time. If he didn’t coach me the way he coached me, making me look at the big picture of football, I don’t think I’d still be in the league. He helped me become a complete player. You wanted to make him look good. I wanted to make him proud of me – of how I was playing and how I did.”
Rathman will speak to reporters in the 49ers museum Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m.