The museum, which will be open seven days a week starting Friday at Levi's Stadium, clearly decided to skip the stoic bronze plaques.
Instead, designers mostly let players choose the pose in which to spend eternity --
The exhibit, early in the tour at the 49ers Museum, sets the tone for 20,000 square feet that emphasize motion. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to superimpose themselves into team photos, record a play-call from the radio booth and participate in a scouting combine.
Even the walls move.
On a space-colored video screen, the names of every player to suit up for the 49ers emerge from the darkness and twinkle briefly onto a video screen. To qualify for the wall, a player needed to be on the active roster only once.
It took only a few seconds of watching to see the names of Montana (a three-time Super Bowl MVP) and linebacker
"Football is the ultimate team sport. It takes so many people to be successful," said McIntyre, now a team executive. "There were guys in practice, they didn't start, but they gave you that effort. They worked out just as hard in the offseason.
"They played their part in this."
The tour concludes with the five Lombardi Trophies, one for each Super Bowl victory. Everything leading up to that finale shows, in essence, how the team got there.
Some of the team's founding documents from 1945-46 are on display. There's also a slightly deflated ball from the first touchdown scored in Walsh's West Coast Offense. (
There are color-coded playbooks from the 1950s, Clark's shoulder pads and a Montana player contract (alas, without the salary figures). Overhead in one hallway, 207 footballs hang like brown clouds -- each one representing a touchdown scored by
For those with more modern tastes, there is the letter quarterback Colin Kaepnernick wrote as a fourth-grader predicting he would play for the 49ers.
And, of course, there are
"Walking though this space is going to give you chills,"
In one of the more lavish displays, Walsh's office gets re-created in full from the way it looked when the team was headquartered in Redwood City.
It looks as if the coach just stepped away. His coffee cup sits to the left of his desk while a red binder bursting with plays from 1988 is to the right.
A few feet away, a movie projector that suggests Walsh was reviewing his greatest hits. One of the canisters is marked "
"It was amazing," McIntyre said. "Once we sent out the word, it just started coming."
This museum is the second-to-last part of the stadium to open. (
The stadium struggled with the onslaught of crowds and traffic last Saturday when the Earthquakes hosted a soccer game in the first sporting event at the new place.
Lovejoy said the average fan visit will last 60 to 90 minutes.
McIntyre, who was part of the team that created the museum, said he was proud to see the place come to fruition. "It's the first time for me being on the ground floor of something this big, this large," he said.
Wait, what about the 49ers' dynasty itself?
"Well, that too," McIntyre said. "I guess I was part of the actual history."
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