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19. Y.A. Tittle

By today’s standards, the way Y.A. Tittle arrived to the San Francisco 49ers was unique. The LSU Quarterback was the Sixth Overall Pick in 1948 when the Detroit Lions took him, but he opted to sign with the Baltimore Colts of the AAFC instead.  Tittle did well, and the Colts were one of the teams that merged with the NFL when the AAFC merged with the NFL, but this first incarnation of the Colts was short-lived as the Colts folded after only one year in the NFL.  All of the Colts were made eligible in the 1951 Draft, and San Francisco took tittle Third Overall.


Tittle already proved himself in the Colts, but he was not San Francisco's permanent starter until 1953.  Tittle went to the Pro Bowl that year, and in 1954, and in 1955, he led the NFL with 17 Touchdowns (although he also was first in Interceptions (28).   

It was in 1957 where Tittle had his best year in a San Francisco uniform.  The Quarterback led the NFL in Completions (176) and Completion Percentage (63.1), and he took the 49ers to the playoffs.  Tittle was a First Team All-Pro and was the UPI MVP.  The QB was a Pro Bowl selection for the fourth time in 1959.

Before the 1961 Season, Tittle was traded straight up for the much younger second year Guard, Lou Cordileone.  Both were offended that they were traded for each other, but Tittle was the one to be right, as he would be excellent for the Giants in the next three years, while Cordileone flamed out.

With the 49ers, Tittle threw for 16,016 Yards with 108 Touchdowns Passes.

Tittle entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971. In 2009, the 49ers inducted him in their first franchise Hall of Fame Class.

The Bullet Points

  • Position: Quarterback
  • Acquired: Selected in the 1st Round, 3rd Overall in the NFL Draft 1/18/51.
  • Departed: Traded to the New York Giants for Lou Cordileone 8/16/61.
  • Games Played: 113
  • Notable Statistics:

    78 Games Started
    1,226 Pass Completions
    2,194 Pass Attempts
    55.9 Pass Completion Percentage
    16,016 Passing Yards
    108 Passing Touchdowns
    108 Interceptions
    70.0 Passer Rating
    196 Rushing Attempts
    637 Rushing Yards
    23 Rushing Touchdowns
    1 Reception
    4 Receiving Yards
    3 Approximate Value*

    *Approximate Value was not a stat until the 1960 Season.

  • Played For: San Francisco 49ers
  • Major Accolades and Awards:

    UPI MVP (1957)
    First Team All-Pro (1957)
    Pro Bowl (1953, 1954, 1957 & 1959)
    Most Pass Completions (1957)
    Most Passing Touchdowns (1955)
    Most Pass Completions per Game (1950 & 1957)
    Highest Pass Completion Percentage (1957)

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