Posted: 11:27 a.m. Tuesday, May 14, 2013
By David Fucillo
Today marks Frank Gore's 30th birthday, which seems as good a time as any to reflect on his legacy. Gore is not finished as a running back, but he is probably on the back half of his NFL career. Yesterday, we had some discussion about where Gore ranks among current NFL running backs. Today, I thought we'd switch gears and consider his all-time status.
When Frank Gore wraps up his NFL career, it is safe to say he will be inducted into the 49ers Hall of Fame. There is also a decent chance he gets his number retired. I understand that No. 21 is a popular number in football, and the 49ers cannot retire every number, but we're talking about the franchise's all-time leading rusher, and a guy with a good chance of reaching 10,000 yards as a 49er.
Franchise recognition aside, what do people think of Frank Gore's Hall of Fame chances?
It is easy to get caught up in our fandom of him as we assess how he will be recognized down the road. While he is a great running back, it is going to be a tough campaign to get into the Hall of Fame. Gore currently ranks No. 34 all-time in rushing yards (8,839) and No. 62 in rushing touchdowns (51).
There are running backs behind Gore in the Hall of Fame, including Larry Csonka, Jim Taylor, Leroy Kelly and John Henry Johnson, among others. Of course, for some of the older time running backs, things were viewed a bit differently.
For Gore, does factoring in the extensive knee injuries from his college days give him a sufficient boost? What kind of numbers do you think he needs, to earn entrance into the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
All this being said, not getting into the Hall would not be a mark against Gore's legacy in my mind. Given that there is no real specific set of requirements to get in, some great players are left out. We see it every year with Hall balloting in virtually every sport. Whatever we think of his Hall chances, we know Frank Gore is already among the all-time greats in 49ers franchise history.