San Francisco 49ers: Top 20 games in franchise history

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Week 5 of 1957 Season: 49ers host Chicago Bears at Kezar Stadium

The 49ers played the Chicago Bears at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco on October 27, 1957. The San Francisco 49ers officially joined the NFL in the 1950 season after playing in the All-America Football Conference.

Owner Tony Morabito had a vision of a professional football team located on the West Coast, and the advances in airplane engineering made travel a more reasonable proposition than ever before.

During the 1957 season, the Chicago Bears came to Kezar Stadium to face a 3-1 49ers team that included Hall of Famers Y.A. Tittle and Joe Perry.

After falling behind 17-7, 49ers players received word that Morabito had suffered from a heart attack in his guest box and passed away during the game. The 49ers eventually came back to win the game 21-17 despite the emotional loss of the owner.

The 49ers remained under the ownership of Morabito’s brother, Vinny, until 1967 when he suffered from a life-ending heart attack as well. The brothers’ wives owned the team for another 10 years before selling to a young Edward DeBartolo Jr. from Youngstown, Ohio. Morabito ushered the 49ers into the NFL, and his passing paved the way for the beginning of the most successful owner in team history.

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