Mankato Hall of Famer Bob Bruer Catches First NFL TD Pass from Legendary HOF Quarterback

Joe Wanted the Football But Bob Kept It

On Nov. 18, 1979, Bob Bruer, 6’5 former member of the Mankato State College football team playing for the San Francisco 49ers, caught the first touchdown pass thrown by its rookie quarterback. The one-handed nab was also Bruer’s first NFL touchdown catch.

So, of course, Bruer kept the ball.

Since then, he has plenty of offers–some that “could have put my granddaughter through college or bought me a Tesla”–from collectors wanting to possess the first TD ball thrown by legendary NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana.

Bob Bruer in 1975

The catch was featured in Episode 2 of the six-part documentary “Joe Montana: Cool Under Pressure” on Peacock.

“So after the catch, Joe was strong-armin’ me for the ball being it was his first touchdown pass. I kept goin,’ ‘Yah, but it’s my first touchdown catch.’ Six-1, 190 quarterback, 6-5, 240 tight end…that’s it,” Bruer recalls in the documentary.

Inducted into the Maverick Hall of Fame in 1989, Bruer, now 69, was recently featured in a story posted by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Bruer played in the CFL fresh out of college before being drafted as a tight end by the NFL where he played for the 49ers and later with the Minnesota Vikings.


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