Bob St. Clair joined the San Francisco 49ers as a third-round draft selection in 1953. At 6-9 and 265 pounds, St. Clair's mere presence on the football field tended to intimidate many opponents.
He was blessed with size, speed, intelligence and a genuine love of hitting and, using these traits to the maximum; his on-the-field trademarks became hostility, power, and strength. He was an outstanding blocker, both on passing plays and rushing attempts.
Particularly early in his career, he was used on defense in goal line situations. He also excelled on the special teams. In 1956, he was credited with an amazing 10 blocked field goals.
Extremely popular with the fans and his teammates, St. Clair served as the 49ers’ team captain in 1957, 1958 and 1959. He was named first- or second-team All-NFL nine times and was selected to play in five Pro Bowls. St. Clair was tough and durable and often played in spite of severe injuries. But injuries eventually did cut short his career.
He was sidelined for a good part of the 1962 season with an Achilles tendon injury but he regained his All-Pro form in 1963. But a second Achilles tendon injury forced him to retire before the 1964 season.
Born in San Francisco, St. Clair decided to play college football at home at the University of San Francisco. When that school quit football after the 1951 season, he transferred to Tulsa, where he was an All-Missouri Valley Conference star. By joining the 49ers, St. Clair became the ninth member of the 1951 USF team to enter the pros.
His teammates nicknamed him "The Geek" because of several of his unusual lifestyle habits, such as eating all of his meat raw. He also became active in politics during his playing career and once served as the mayor of Daly City, California.