It has been a long time coming for one of the greatest owners in the history of professional sports. According to CSN Bay Area’s Mindi Bach, former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr. has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame:
Source: Former #49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo has been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
— Mindi Bach (@MBachSports) February 7, 2016
The official announcement will be made Saturday night at the annual NFL awards show.
DeBartolo, who owned the 49ers from 1977-2000, headed an organization that was considered the best in the entire league. During his near quarter century atop the organization, San Francisco won a then unprecedented five Super Bowls in a 14-year span.
His success as the team’s owner acted as a basis for other organizations to model themselves after. It was all about class from the top down, something the current version of the 49ers know little about.
Unfortunately for Eddie D, as he is known in Northern California, his tenure as the 49ers owner came to an abrupt end in 2000 when he was involved in a corruption scandal surrounding former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards.
After pleading guilty to failing to report a felony, DeBartolo was barred from active control of the 49ers, at which point he ceded control of the team to his sister, Denise DeBartolo York.
This obviously played a role in DeBartolo having to wait so long to be elected to the Hall of Fame. Heck, there seemed to be some contentious moments during voting on Saturday:
The longest discussion of the HOF meeting was Eddie DeBartolo Jr. at 50 minutes, 33 seconds. The shortest? Brett Favre at six seconds.
— Rick Gosselin (@RickGosselin9) February 6, 2016
Now, 17 years after leaving the organization he helped become one of the most successful in professional sports history, Eddie D will be enshrined into Canton.
It’s been a long time coming.