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Ex-Dolphin, 49er Freddie Solomon dies at 59

1984 NFC Championship Game: Chicago Bears v San Francisco 49ers Getty Images

Freddie Solomon, a wide receiver for the Dolphins and 49ers who was a key player on two Super Bowl-winning teams, has died at the age of 59.

Solomon was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer nine months ago, and his health took a turn for the worse last week, the Tampa Tribune reports.

As a quarterback at the University of Tampa in the early 1970s Solomon did sensational things with the ball in his hands, rushing for 3,299 yards, which at the time was the all-time NCAA record for a quarterback. Although the NFL didn’t have any place for his style of quarterback in those days, Don Shula was enamored enough with Solomon’s talent that he used a second-round draft pick on him in 1975.

After three seasons in Miami, Solomon was traded to San Francisco, where he became a great fit in Bill Walsh’s offense. His best season was 1981, when he caught 59 passes for 969 yards and eight touchdowns. Following that season the 49ers won the Super Bowl, getting there when Joe Montana hit Dwight Clark in the end zone for “The Catch” to win the NFC Championship Game. Solomon was the first option on that play.

Solomon retired after the 1985 season, and he came to be known in Tampa as much for his good works in the community as he was for his football heroics. He did outreach to young people through his work in community relations with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, and he teamed up with Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who owned the 49ers when Solomon played there, to provide an annual Christmas celebration for foster children.

Solomon is survived by his wife of 33 years, Dee Solomon.

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26 Responses to “Ex-Dolphin, 49er Freddie Solomon dies at 59”
  1. nineroutsider says: Feb 13, 2012 6:29 PM

    A great 9er and more importantly, a great person. R.I.P. Freddie!

  2. tombrookshire says: Feb 13, 2012 6:29 PM

    Good memories. RIP Freddie.

  3. tednancy says: Feb 13, 2012 6:36 PM

    RIP. A great player on one of the great teams of all time.

  4. rdthebruce says: Feb 13, 2012 6:38 PM

    Freddie Solomon was a Great 49er and a class act RIP Freddie You will be remembered Condolences to Family and friends

  5. howmanyringsyourteamgot says: Feb 13, 2012 6:59 PM

    RIP Freddie, thank you for contributions to the Niners and your contributions to society. God Bless

  6. lookatthefarside says: Feb 13, 2012 7:02 PM

    RIP Freddie.

  7. joey15215 says: Feb 13, 2012 7:09 PM

    One of my favorite 49ers. I simply enjoyed watching him play. There was nothing fancy, but Solomon simply fit into the 49er West Coast O perfectly.

  8. uberniner says: Feb 13, 2012 7:22 PM

    The 49ers have had a lot of classy players, and Freddie was one of them. Let’s keep that tradition. We don’t need the misfits, typical of all too many other teams.

  9. raiderrob21 says: Feb 13, 2012 7:33 PM

    RIP Fast Freddie
    from The Raider Nation!!

  10. ninerfan94954 says: Feb 13, 2012 8:25 PM

    RIP Freddie. Way too soon. Condolences to the family.

  11. blackqbwhiterb says: Feb 13, 2012 8:26 PM

    Everyone remembers Jerry Rice and Roger Craig, but Freddy Solomon and Wendell Tyler were great on those early Niner Super Bowl teams! RIP….

  12. sonoco says: Feb 13, 2012 8:34 PM

    Not only was Freddie the first option on “The Catch” play, on first down in the same series he was wide open in the opposite corner after juking the jock of the Cowboy DB, but Montana overthrew him badly. It was a great route. It could have very well been #88 retired by the 49ers and not #87.

    R.I.P Freddie. You were a great Niner!!! Great man!

  13. franknunley57 says: Feb 13, 2012 8:52 PM

    Will never forget Freddie running onto the field for Super Bowl XIX vs Dolphins. The camera caught Freddie yell out “They can’t beat us” ….R.I.P Freddie.

  14. canesfan56 says: Feb 13, 2012 9:23 PM

    As a practicing gastroenterologist the sad fact is that a colonoscopy at age 50 likely would have prevented this death. If you are 50, GET YOURSELF SCREENED!

  15. hovenaut says: Feb 13, 2012 9:34 PM

    Big part of the early Niner dynasty. RIP.

  16. ufullpj says: Feb 13, 2012 9:50 PM

    59 is way, way too young. Sounds like he made a tremendous impact on a number of lives; our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.

  17. Deb says: Feb 13, 2012 10:44 PM

    Freddie Solomon gone … that just doesn’t seem right. Too many players are leaving us too soon. God be with his family, friends, and teammates.

    RIP, Freddie.

  18. dad4dds says: Feb 13, 2012 10:59 PM

    great loss

  19. dpbrew says: Feb 14, 2012 12:53 AM

    God bless You Mr Solomon! I remember u as emergency QB for 9ers in the lean yrs and a Super Bowl Champion when it counted. Yet You will remembered most for helping others, inspiring others and being a splendid person. Thank you sir!

  20. charlieharper04 says: Feb 14, 2012 1:01 AM

    He played before I was born but RIP, he sounds like a good guy.

    People that vote thumbs down to people saying RIP are sick. Although I expect them all to down vote this now…

  21. 1phd says: Feb 14, 2012 1:21 AM

    Heartfelt condolences to the Solomon family. Enjoyed watching you play, Freddie. Thanks for all you gave over the years and RIP kind sir.

  22. phuzzyd says: Feb 14, 2012 1:33 AM

    Best PFT responses I’ve seen in a while.

  23. cubancigar10 says: Feb 14, 2012 5:51 AM

    Yes Freddie RIP pal and thanks for the memories.

  24. 49erstim says: Feb 14, 2012 7:46 AM

    R.I.P. Mr Solomon. You were a classy professional if there ever was one. Condolences to his Wife and family.

  25. cali49er707 says: Feb 14, 2012 3:16 PM

    RIP GOD BLESS HIS FAMILY its guys like this on why i bleed RED N GOLD

  26. simon94022 says: Feb 14, 2012 9:51 PM

    For a while in the late 70s, Freddie S. even looked like the best QB option on those Joe Thomas ream. The one bright spot, and eventually he was surrounded bya Super Bowl cast worthy of him.

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