SANTA CLARA — He's still handsome and, at 56, he looks young and his voice is rich and soothing. Someone once said his voice is “all milk and honey.”
Made “The Catch.”
Candlestick Park Through the Years
In this April 1, 1960, file photo, Candlestick Park is seen under construction in this aerial view in San Francisco. It was a baseball venue first, built for the Giants, but became best known for the 49ers and Bill Walsh's dynamic decade. (AP Photo/File)
Architect John Bolles inspects the partially finished model of Candlestick Park, detailed at 1/32nd inch to the foot in San Francisco, Sept. 24, 1958. (AP Photo/Clarence Hamm)
San Francisco's Candlestick Park is filled with 44,115 fans at an All-Star baseball game on July 11, 1961. (AP Photo)
Candlestick Park, home field for the Giants and the 49ers, became a complete bowl stadium with the placement of the final section of precast concrete atop the stadium's rim in San Francisco, Jan. 28, 1972. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
In this photo provided by the California Department of Public Works, Highway Division, an aerial view of Candlestick Park in San Francisco on opening day of the 1963 season, April 16, 1963. (AP Photo/Calif. DPW/Highways)
In this Aug. 4, 1959, file photo, Candlestick Park is under construction in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Ernest K. Bennett, File)
After a night of rain and a day of drizzles, a helicopter was called on for its fan-like effect on the damp infield at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, just an hour before the scheduled game between the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers, May 19, 1961. The copter is shown hovering over soggy ground near first base, as players wait in the dugout. (AP Photo/Robert H. Houston)
In this Aug. 22, 1965, file photo, San Francisco Giants pitcher Juan Marichal (27) swings a bat at Los Angeles Dodgers catcher John Roseboro as Dodgers pitcher Sandy Koufax, rear right, tries to break it up in the third inning at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Robert H. Houston, File)
A low wet fog swirled across the field at Candlestick Park in San Francisco as the Cincinnati Reds and San Francisco Giants opened a three-game series, Aug. 31, 1962. The Giants won over the Reds with a 10-2 victory. (AP Photo)
San Francisco Giants outfielder Felipe Alou is shown in August 1962. (AP Photo)
Giants' first baseman Willie McCovey is welcomed by teammates at the San Francisco dugout after he drove the ball high over the right field fence in the seventh inning, Oct. 5, 1962 in San Francisco and put the Giants ahead, 2-0, in the second game of World Series in Candlestick Park. (AP Photo)
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants center fielder, center, is hugged by Felipe Alou after he slugged a two-run homer over the right centerfield fence, Oct. 1, 1962. (AP Photo)
In this Oct. 4, 1962, file photo, Tom Tresh, left, of the New York Yankees, and Willie Mays, of the San Francisco Giants, talk before the first game of the World Series in San Francisco. (AP Photo/File)
Willie Mays, center field slugger of the San Francisco Giants, connects with the 3,000th hit of his career, a single to left in the second inning against Montreal on July 18, 1970 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (AP Photo)
San Francisco 49ers' quarterback Joe Montana walks off the field carrying his helmet and towel after the Super Bowl champs lost to the San Diego Chargers, 41-37, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Dec. 11, 1982. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
San Francisco Giants Joe Morgan is congratulated at the plate by teammates Guy Sularz and Bob Brenly after Morgan hit a three-run homer over the right field fence in the seventh inning Sunday, Oct. 4, 1982 in San Francisco at Candlestick Park. (AP Photo)
San Francisco 49ers' head coach Bill Walsh, center, shares a laugh with quarterback Joe Montana, in red jacket at right, and receiver Dwight Clark, left, during picture day at San Francisco's Candlestick Park, Jan. 16, 1985. (AP Photo)
San Francisco 49ers Dwight Clark leaps high in the endzone to catch a Joe Montana pass, "The Catch," that tied the game late in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC Championship football game at Candlestick Park, Jan. 10, 1982. The extra point gave the 49ers a 28-27 win and a berth in the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Dallas Morning News, Phil Huber)
Two women take shelter from the cold with a sleeping bag on the upper deck of Candlestick Park in San Francisco, July 9, 1985. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Groundskeepers at Candlestick Park work on the rain-soaked playing field midway through the first half, Saturday, Jan. 9, 1993 in San Francisco during the NFC Divisional Playoff between the 49ers and Washington Redskins. (AP Photo/Susan Ragan)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana walks dejected off the field after the 49ers lost to the New Orleans Saints 26-24, Sunday, Nov. 15, 1987 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Tom Riggs)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana leaves the field for perhaps the last time after losing the NFC championship to the Dallas Cowboys on Jan. 17, 1993 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Members of the Oakland Athletics stand and stare as Candlestick Park-goers leave the stadium in the wake of the major earthquake that struck Northern California just before Game 3 of the World Series against the San Francisco Giants on Oct. 17, 1989. (AP Photo)
In this photo taken on Oct. 17, 1989, Oakland A's player Jose Canseco walks off the field with his wife Ester and other A's players before the start of the World Series at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Contra Costa Times, Dan Rosenstrauch)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jerry Rice, left, runs with the ball past Los Angeles Raiders cornerback Lionel Washington to score his 125th career touchdown during the first quarter at Candlestick Park in San Francisco on Sept. 5, 1994. (AP Photo/George Nikitin)
High clouds and the setting sun fall behind 3Com Park at Candlestick Point as the San Francisco Giants battle the Philadelphia Phillies in one of their final night games of the season in San Francisco, on Aug. 31, 1999, the last season before the Giants moved to what is now AT&T Park. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana, left, and former wide receiver Dwight Clark are shown before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the St. Louis Rams in San Francisco, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Candlestick Park is dimly lit during a power outage before an NFL football game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers in San Francisco, Monday, Dec. 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis (85) celebrates after an NFL divisional playoff football game against the New Orleans Saints on Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, in San Francisco. The 49ers won 36-32. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Candlestick Park in San Francisco was the first waterfront ballpark in the Bay Area. With an ever-changing and modern city skyline, Candlestick, however unique, was not updated to fit the changing needs of fans and sports culture. Shown Friday, Dec. 20, 2013. (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2013
Caught that pass from Joe Montana and ran the 49ers right into their first Super Bowl victory, ran them right into their dynasty.
That Dwight Clark.
The Catch was the most famous sports play in Candlestick Park — ever. Name your sport. Candlestick Park is about to get snuffed and Clark has come to a coffee shop to talk about The Catch in honor of the 49ers' last game at Candlestick on Monday night.
He never tires of talking about The Catch. It's part of his identity. It links him to Joe and Bill and Eddie. No last names required. He works as a public-relations ambassador for five companies, including the 49ers, and much of the time he tells fans about The Catch, officially a 6-yard touchdown grab ending a 13-play, 89-yard drive.
Some fans weren't alive on Jan. 10, 1982, when he caught that ball in the NFC championship game against the Dallas Cowboys on a third-and-3 with 58 seconds left in the game and the Niners down 27-21. Fans — Clark remembers a 7-year-old boy — want to hear the story from his lips in his voice of milk and honey. “Tell me about The Catch.”
He gets right to it over his cup of coffee, his delivery fresh, enthusiastic, like he's never told the story before. For the record, he is talking about “Sprint Right Option,” the ultimate iconic play in the grand history of 49ers' iconic plays.
“It was one of Bill's favorite plays,” Clark says. “He brought it from Cincinnati. I don't know if he created it or Paul Brown, but Bill loved that play. The first time we practiced it, Bill kept us after practice and said, 'I want you guys to try this play. You line up in a slot formation.'