Paul Salata
Personal information
Date of birth: (1926-10-17) October 17, 1926 (age 93)
Place of birth: Los Angeles, California
Career information
College: Southern California
NFL Draft: 1951 / Round: 10 / Pick: 118
(By the Pittsburgh Steelers)
Debuted in 1949 for the [[{{{debutteam}}}]]
Last played in 1953 for the [[{{{finalteam}}}]]
Career history
Career highlights and awards
  • CFL All-Star : 1952
Receptions     50
Receiving yards     618
Touchdowns     4
Stats at

Paul Thomas Salata was born on October 17, 1926 in Los Angeles, California to a Serbian-born father and second generation Serbian-American mother who instilled a strong work ethic in him. He is a former professional American football wide receiver in the National Football League (NFL) and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC). He played for the AAFC/NFL's San Francisco 49ers (1949–1950) and the AAFC's Baltimore Colts (1950) . After the Colts franchise folded in 1950 he was declared draft-eligible and was subsequently drafted in the tenth round of the 1951 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Although he played just one and a half seasons with the 49ers, he holds a special place in team lore. He scored the 49ers final touchdown in the All-American Football Conference, as well as the team's first TD in NFL.[1]

He also played 3 final seasons in Canada; 1952 with the Calgary Stampeders, where he was an all-star, and 1953 with the Ottawa Rough Riders.

In later years, Salata became famous for creating the Mr. Irrelevant Award in the NFL Draft, awarded annually to the last overall pick in the year's draft. After retiring from football, he became a successful businessman in Southern California.

He has also acted in a number of Hollywood movies.[2]


  1. Matt Maiocco, San Francisco 49ers: Where Have You Gone?, (Sports Publishing, 2005), 16.

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