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The 49ers First Game

Updated: Oct 15, 2020

It was a beautiful day in San Francisco on September 8, 1946. A clear sky and crisp, cool weather marked the beginning of a special relationship within the City by the Bay. The 49ers were playing in their first regular season game against the New York Yankees in the AAFC. With a roster primarily consisting of local college stars, the 49ers set out to make their fans proud.

The 49ers struck first in the first quarter. Frankie Albert threw a 40-yard pass to Johnny Strzykalski. Strzykalski then pitched the ball to Len Eshmont who used left end Alyn Beals to evade Yankees safety Ace Parker enroute to the endzone to give San Francisco the lead. The crowd of 35,000 roared it’s approval. The rest of the game slowly got away from the 49ers.

In the second quarter, the Yankees Lowell Wagner returned a punt 40 yards to tie the game. The 49ers offense continued to struggle and the first half ended tied 7-7.

The Yankees changed quarterbacks in the third quarter with Ace Parker taking the snaps the rest of the game. The Yankees ground out a long drive and Parker ended the drive with a seven yard scamper into the endzone.

The fourth quarter was a wild one. 49ers tight end Bob Titchanel scooped up a Yankees fumble and appeared to run 40 yards for the touchdown but the play had been called dead. Later in the fourth quarter the Yankees marched down the field and scored another final touchdown. This one came off of a three yard Dewey Proctor run. The game ended with a 21-7 Yankees win.

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