Frank Gore plays for the Colts.
Say that sentence 100 times and it still won’t seem right.
The 49ers’ all-time leading rusher signed a three-year deal with Indianapolis last week and today issued a statement thanking the 49ers and their fans for 10 years in the Bay Area.
Gore is one of two active runners -- free agent Steven Jackson is the other -- in the Top 20 of the NFL’s all-time rushing list. If he has another 1,000-yard season, he will be in, at the lowest, 16th place on the list. A very good season could put him in 10th place.
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It will be interesting to see if Gore wears No. 21 in Indianapolis or if anyone dons it in San Francisco. Colts cornerback Vontae Davis, the younger brother of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis, rejected Gore’s initial proposition about acquiring the number.
Even if Gore’s number isn’t retired in San Francisco, there are some digits that are off limits. No one was worn No. 97, for instance, since Bryant Young stepped away in 2007 even though Young’s jersey is not one of the 12 that have been retired. (See below)
“As I look forward to an exciting new opportunity, I cannot help but to reminisce about the past 10 years in the Bay Area. I would like to, once again, thank the York family and the 49ers organization for giving me the opportunity to realize my childhood dream of playing in the NFL. I am truly thankful to all of my 49ers teammates, coaches and staff that have helped me reach milestones and strive for greatness over the years. And to my fans: I do not know where to start, there are no words to describe how appreciative I am of the support and encouragement each and every one of you has provided. I will always carry you with me. Thank you for everything.”
49ERS’ RETIRED NUMBERS
8 — QB Steve Young
12 — QB John Brodie
16 — QB Joe Montana
34 — RB Joe Perry
37 — DB Jimmy Johnson
39 — RB Hugh McElhenney
42 — S Ronnie Lott
70 — DT Charlie Krueger
73 — T Leo Nomellini
79 — T Bob St. Clair
80 — WR Jerry Rice
87 — WR Dwight Clark
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.