SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers turn 70 this year and will wear a patch on their uniforms to celebrate the milestone.
The "shield" patch hearkens to the emblem the team used to have in its end zone when it played in San Francisco's Kezar Stadium. Inside the shield is the No. 70 as well as five diamonds that mark the team's five Super Bowl trophies.
Founded in 1946, the 49ers first played in the now defunct All-American Football Conference before merging with the NFL in 1950. The first team was coached by Lawrence "Buck" Shaw and included Frankie Albert, Norm Standlee, Bruno Banducci, Len Eshmont, Johnny “Johnny Strike” Strzykalski and Joe “The Toe” Ventrano. The team's most prestigious annual award is named for Eshmont.