The wait is finally over for arguably the greatest NFL owner who ever lived, as former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. was finally elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. An election that took place one day before the Super Bowl, DeBartolo among seven others will now join an exclusive eternal fraternity that only few men can call home.
The other seven men elected were HC Tony Dungy, OLB Kevin Greene, WR Marvin Harrison, QB Brett Favre, LT Orlando Pace, QB Ken Stabler and LB Dick Stanfel.
DeBartolo who was known for being a ‘players owner,’ took whatever steps necessary to ensure that the on-field product was Super Bowl ready year in and year out. During his reign as the team’s owner, DeBartolo racked up five Super Bowl trophies while running his team like a family.
“I tried to run the 49ers like a family rather than a business. I viewed the players and myself really, basically, as a partnership. Our goal was to win the Super Bowl every year, and we had to do that together,” DeBartolo said.
Aside from the players, it’s the Forever Faithful who also remains loyal to Mr. D. After all, it was during his time as owner where the team endured the most success. The picture above displays the 49ers fan base’s passion toward Mr. D as they troll CEO Jed York with this banner during the Atlanta Falcons game last year.
However, the show must go on and it’s now up to his nephew to carry on the 49ers legacy while bringing home Super Bowl trophies.
With DeBartolo now officially in Canton, he joins other 49ers in the Hall of Fame as DE/OLB Charles Haley, WR Jerry Rice, DE Fred Dean, QB Steve Young, QB Joe Montana, LB Dave Wilcox, DB Ronnie Lott, CB Jimmy Johnson, HC Bill Walsh, LT Bob St. Clair, FB John Henry Johnson, QB Y.A. Tittle, RB Hugh McElhenny, RB Joe Perry, and DT Leo Nomellini have all been elected before him.