Chuck Bradley has a bone to pick with 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.
Both will enter the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame on Wednesday, but Bradley — who graduated from Menlo-Atherton High School and went on to play at the University of Oregon and in the NFL — is still upset about Harbaugh’s recent career move.
“I’m still mad at him for quitting Stanford,” he said.
Bradley’s Bay Area roots go deep. He recalled working at the Stanford football games as a child, when he would get a nickel for every 50-cent program he sold.
Later in life, after his own football career was beginning, he recalled admiring the 49ers from afar while he was in middle school.
“I used to practice over at Roosevelt Park in Redwood City,” he said. “After practice on Saturdays, the 49ers used to practice right across the creek there, and I’d jump up on the chain-link fence and I would hold myself so I could peek over the fence and watch practice.”
Bradley said he always wanted to play for the team he grew up rooting for, but had to settle for being drafted in 1973 in the second round by the Miami Dolphins, who were coming off their legendary undefeated season.
He says he was miscast when the Dolphins wanted to put him at center, however, and he left the team after only one season. He went on to play in 19 games in the NFL as a tight end with the San Diego Chargers and Chicago Bears.
Now at a new job teaching autistic children in Mountain View, Bradley said he would still like to pass some of his football knowledge on to young players, the same way his first coach, Lonnie Hartman, taught him the fundamentals when he was in fifth grade.
“I was always ahead of the curve because of Mr. Hartman,” Bradley said. “He was a great fundamentalist. One of the reasons I excelled at football is because I got a good foundation of fundamentals early in my career.”
Inducted into the Peninsula Sports Hall of Fame alongside Bradley and Harbaugh will be Nancy Dinges, who set scoring records in basketball at Hillsdale High School; Charles Lowery, a prolific basketball scorer who went from Ravenswood High School to the University of Puget Sound and on to the NBA; Burlingame High School multisport standout Katie May, who became a four-year softball fixture at shortstop for Cal in the late 1990s; Edwin Mulitalo, an offensive lineman at Jefferson High School who went on to the University of Arizona and the NFL, winning a Super Bowl with the Baltimore Ravens; Paul Noce, a Sequoia High School baseball star, who saw duty with two major league teams; Mark Reischling, who after his basketball playing days at Hillsdale High School and Chico State became one of the most respected referees on the West Coast; Erica Reynolds, linchpin of four section championship softball teams at Capuchino High School; and Warren “Locomotive” Smith who was 1897’s California Player of the Year in football and track and field for Burlingame’s Hoitt School.
WHEN: Wednesday, 6 p.m.
WHERE: San Mateo County Event Center
INFO: (650) 348-7600 or firstname.lastname@example.org