Blog Entry

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

Posted on: February 13, 2012 7:42 pm
 
Freddie Solomon died Monday at the age of 59. (Getty)
By Josh Katzowitz

Former 49ers receiver Freddie Solomon, an important contributor to Bill Walsh’s original West Coast offense, died Monday afternoon at the age of 59 after a battle with colon and liver cancer.

"With all that he has done, with all that he has meant to this community, Freddie Solomon is irreplaceable,”  Vin Hoover, Solomon's football teammate at the University of Tampa, told the Tampa Tribune. "He was my friend. He was everyone's friend.”

After his 11-year career with the Dolphins and 49ers from 1975-85, where he caught 371 passes for a 15.8 yards per catch average and 48 touchdowns, he stayed in Tampa and became a positive fixture in the community.

As the Tribune writes:
Solomon worked for two decades in community relations with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, working with youths while blending football fundamentals with life lessons. He rarely spoke about his accomplishments. For some, he dished out tough love. For others, he was a mentor. To all, he was simply "Coach Solomon."

Each winter for a dozen years, Solomon and former 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo organized a Christmas celebration for foster children. The kids got wrapped toys, dolls or games. Their stunned caregivers, usually struggling to make ends meet, were screaming or sobbing in disbelief after opening gift envelopes filled with hundreds of dollars.

He was constantly stopped in his daily travels by people who remembered his glory days. Solomon obliged with a handshake, a hug, an autograph or a quick photo. Once, a woman asked Solomon to telephone her father, a big fan, as a birthday surprise. Instead, on his way home from work, Solomon dropped by the man's house to personally share some UT memories. They talked and laughed for hours.

"Freddie Solomon was a treasure for us in San Francisco,'' said former 49ers safety Ronnie Lott, a Pro Football Hall of Famer. "What a humanitarian he has been for the city of Tampa."

Interestingly enough, he was just as generous with his teammates. Jerry Rice and Dwight Clark are on record saying how helpful he was to them early in their careers.

"He helped me when he didn't really have to,'' Clark said. "But as I came to understand, that's how he has always been with everybody. He has led an amazing life.”

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Comments

Since: Jan 21, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 4:01 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

I remember watching Freddie Solomon playing quarterback in some of the college All-Star games in 1974. You can say his athleticism in these game did help contribute in his high ranking position as the 36th player taken in the 1975 NFL Draft. Before that, he was a relatively unknown outside the state of Florida. Rest In Peace, Freddie.



Since: Jun 14, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 2:17 pm
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

Wow.. What a bummer. Loved watching Freddie as a 49ers. Went to a few of the games back in the early 80's. He was always a gentlemen. We'll be missed for his work with kids and for the amazing person he wasy.




Since: Jan 20, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:54 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

My Dad took me to Rocklin to see the 49ers football practice the year after they won their 1st superbowl.  Freddie Solomon was 1 of the guys who gave me an autograph.  As a 10 year old fan, I still remember how awesome it was.  Thanks Freddie



Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:40 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

It shows that a player could have a life after football. The article indicated he was Coach Solomon, to those he touched on a daily basis after football.

I was not a 49er fan as I lived in Long Beach, California at the time and would go to the Ram’s games as often as I could. I especially would try to save to attend a 49er game.

We always had fun when the 49ers would come to the coliseum and later Angel Stadium

I can remember Solomon catching a pass, handling the ball to the ref and going back to the sidelines. He did not dance for 5 minutes after scoring. For some reason I think he knew that he would score again.

One of the reasons I limit myself to the number of games I would watch is because of all the celebration and hoopla that goes on after a touch down is made.

Jim Brown, Marcus Allen, Jerry Rice, Casper the Friendly Ghost, Lynn Swan and those of that era knew they would score again, did no dancing, no gyrations, no phone calls on the sidelines. Just football.

As to Mr. Solomon, I was one that likes to watch a good player play even when beating my Rams at the time. I only got a chance to watch you once, but it was a great day.   

My condolences to the Solomon family and friends.

“ONE MAN’S OPINION”





Since: Jan 7, 2007
Posted on: February 14, 2012 9:28 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

I hope you are in a happy place, Freddie.
If he is not in Heaven then very few will walk through the pearly gates.



Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:58 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

Freddie was every bit a Dolphin as much as he was a 49er, for the record. Giving back to the community like he did is probably a bigger legacy than his NFL career and stats accumulated. RIP Freddy....................



Since: Dec 22, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:57 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

I hope you are in a happy place, Freddie.



Since: Nov 26, 2006
Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:24 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

RIP Freddie, you will be missed.Frown



Since: Aug 18, 2009
Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:20 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

Exactly!



Since: Mar 11, 2010
Posted on: February 14, 2012 7:13 am
 

Former 49ers WR Freddie Solomon, dies at 59

RIP


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