There are only 99 different numbers that football players can wear. But in San Francisco there are only 88.
San Francisco announced that quarterback Steve Young will become the 11th player in franchise history to have his jersey retired, with ceremonies set for the 49ers game against the New England Patriots on Oct. 5.
“Steve Young is an important part of the 49ers history and tradition,” 49ers owner John York said of the Hall-of-Fame quarterback who was the NFL’s MVP in 1992 and 1994. “He combined talent, character and a tremendous work ethic to become an incomparable performer and champion on the field.
“He was a model professional, and he influenced many of the younger players with his dedication. Our players today and for years to come will look up to Steve. We are excited to pay tribute to his achievements with this special halftime ceremony in front of our fans.”
And soon enough, the 49ers will have to retire a 12th number; the only question is when. But sooner rather than later the 49ers are going to have to retire Jerry Rice‘s No. 80.
Past 49ers to have their jersey retired are:
- No. 12 John Brodie (Retired in 1973)
- No. 16 Joe Montana 2000
- No. 34 Joe Perry 1971
- No. 37 Jimmy Johnson 1994
- No. 39 Hugh McElhenny 1971
- No. 42 Ronnie Lott 2003
- No. 70 Charlie Krueger 1974
- No. 73 Leo Nomellini 1971
- No. 79 Bob St. Clair 2001
- No. 87 Dwight Clark 1988
Another one to consider is another “Young”, former defensive lineman Bryant Young. That could be No. 13. But you can’t keep retiring numbers. There aren’t enough to go around.