Will Frank Gore's number be retired?

Whether you like it or not, Frank Gore is gone and he’s not coming back.

Instead of the red and gold the 49ers’ all-time leading rusher wore for the first decade of his storied career, he will be donning blue and white probably for the rest of his career.

And he also will most likely be wearing a different number, too.

Currently, Vontae Davis (who happens the be the younger brother of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis) wears the number 21 for the Colts — that’s been Gore’s number since he entered the pro ranks. According to reports, Davis rebuffed Gore’s attempt to get his number form him.

But, if Gore can’t have number 21, maybe no one should — at least, on the 49ers.

Gore is one of just two active running backs (free-agent Steven Jackson is the other) currently in the NFL’s top 20 list of all-time rushers. Gore sits at 20th currently, but a 1,000 yard season  — which is very doable for the durable Gore — would put him at number 16.

Let’s say he balls out this season and carries the rock for 1,200 yards, then he’ll be in 10th place all time. Either way, the man will be in the top 10 at the end of his career.

So, the questions is, should the 49ers retire Gore’s number 21? Steve Young’s jersey number 8 was de facto retired, though not officially, and he won Super Bowl rings.

Only time will tell, but certainly, Gore stands a chance.

These are the numbers that are either officially retired or de facto retired:
8 — QB Steve Young
12 — QB John Brodie
16 — QB Joe Montana
34 — RB Joe Perry
37 — DB Jimmy Johnson
39 — RB Hugh McElhenney
42 — S Ronnie Lott
70 — DT Charlie Krueger
73 — T Leo Nomellini
79 — T Bob St. Clair
80 — WR Jerry Rice
87 — WR Dwight Clark

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