SAN FRANCISCO R.C. Owens, a longtime 49ers front office man and eight-year NFL wide receiver whose impressive leaping ability earned him the nickname Alley Oop and helped popularize the basketball phrase, died Sunday.
The Niners, his team for the first five of his NFL seasons, announced Owens death Monday. The team said he had been living in Manteca, about 75 miles east of San Francisco.
The 6-foot-3 Owens also played two seasons for the Baltimore Colts, and his final year was with the New York Giants in 1964. He had 206 career receptions for 3,285 yards and 22 touchdowns. He also ran for a score.
Owens was selected by the 49ers in the 14th round 160th overall of the 1956 draft.
Following his playing career, Owens worked for the 49ers in several different positions, including 24 years as director of alumni relations. One of his favorite duties involved donning a red suit and white beard and playing Santa Claus at Christmas. Owens also started a successful summer reading program for children in San Joaquin County.
Owens was born on Nov. 12, 1933, in Shreveport, La. He is survived by his wife, Susan.