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Former 49ers tailback Craig ‘home' for book signing

Former 49ers tailback Craig ‘home' for book signing

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Nate Frandsen

Davenport native Roger Craig ran his way into the NFL record books during his 11-year professional career. On Saturday, Borders Books Music and Cafe in Davenport ran out of his new book, "Tales from the San Francisco 49ers Sidelines."

Craig was at the store to promote the book, and one hour and 15 minutes after he began signing, it already was sold out. Some of the estimated 350 fans brought jerseys and footballs to be signed instead.

"I feel really bad that some of the fans didn't get a chance to have the book signed," said Craig, who is in town to film a commercial and celebrate his 25th high school reunion. "Maybe Borders forgot that I was from the area. I will have to come back and sign again in November when I am home for Thanksgiving."

Craig's book, his second, chronicles his career from his early days on the field and track as a Davenport Central athlete to his trio of Super Bowl victories as the 49ers running back.

In the book he makes reference to Central coaches Jim Fox, Jack Leabo and Ira Dunsworth for helping him reach his full potential as an athlete.

"For myself and other kids growing up, those guys had a great influence," Craig said. "Those guys are great guys. They believed in working hard and teamwork, and I took what they taught me to Nebraska and then on to the 49ers."

A few things in the book's 175 pages are why Craig's fellow players nicknamed him ‘Catfish,' the things he purchased for his lineman paving the way for him, where he keeps his three Super Bowl rings and his unhappiness with how the 49ers let him and Ronnie Lott go prior to the 1991 season.

He also shares his memories of various players such as Joe Montana, Jerry Rice. Bill Walsh, the 12-year 49er head coach who perfected the West Coast offense, wrote the forward.

Craig calls Northern California home, but makes sure to come back his roots when he can.

"The book has a little bit of Davenport in it, and I wanted to come back and share it with my home fans," he said. "I make sure to come home, whether it is for my golf tournament or just family and friends."

Alec Clark considered himself lucky to get Craig's autograph inside his copy. He couldn't wait to show his brother.

"I came to pick up a magazine," Clark said. "I had no idea he was going to be here."

The 14-year-old Bettendorf resident said he has seen Craig on SportsCenter and considers Craig to be one of the best running backs ever.

"He is somebody famous from this town," Clark said, "and we don't have that many famous people around."

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