San Francisco 49ers: 15 most beloved fan favorites in franchise history

Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Joe Montana, Dwight Clark, San Francisco 49ers. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /
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Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers
Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers. Mandatory Credit: Jed Jacobsohn/ALLSPORT /

1. player. 42. . WR. (1985-00). Jerry Rice

Most beloved San Francisco 49ers in franchise history: 1. Jerry Rice

There might still be a debate over who the best quarterback in NFL history is. But there shouldn’t be a debate about the greatest player overall.

And, of course, he’s part of 49ers lore.

More from SF 49ers All-Time Lists

Wide receiver Jerry Rice has records that will never be broken. Just think, his 22,895 receiving yards stand well over 5,000 more than the No. 2 player on that all-time list, eventual Pro Football Hall of Famer Larry Fitzgerald.

Rice’s work ethic and his flashy abilities endeared him to fans quickly back in the 1980s. And he carried that same flare into the 1990s, too, going on to solidify himself as the most potent and impactful player of all time.

And it’s pretty easy to rank him as the No. 1 fan favorite among 49ers fans everywhere.

Rice’s personality was addictive. Having interviewed him a couple of times myself, I can attest to his down-to-earth-yet-fun demeanor. He was the kind of player kids adore and love, growing up to tell their children, “I watched the greatest football player ever to play the game.”

Fans take pride in that, too. For every all-time greatest players list put out there, the Niners Faithful can always relax knowing their favorite, Rice, is forever cemented at No. 1.

Next. 10 49ers who looked far too weird in other teams' uniforms. dark