ANTIOCH -- Ed Montanez has hundreds of pieces of San Francisco 49ers memorabilia, but there is one item missing from his extensive collection.

Actually, two, if Sunday's game goes the way he hopes.

The 81-year-old's gold satin 49ers jacket is monogrammed with his name and the years and dates of four of the five team Super Bowl victories underneath. He wants embroidering for not only the 1995 Super Bowl win, but a sixth title.

"There's no doubt in my mind that we're going to beat Baltimore," Montanez said in his Antioch home Wednesday. "We've been waiting to get that sixth trophy for a long time."

The 49ers play the Baltimore Ravens at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Super Bowl XLVII.

Preparing for the team's first Super Bowl appearance in 18 years reminds Montanez, a 49ers fan since 1946, about attending the team's first championship in 1982.

"There used to be lotteries for season ticket holders for Super Bowl tickets, but I didn't get them," he said. "So, we took a chance."

Montanez and a buddy made the 2,400-mile flight to Pontiac, Mich., but on the way were forced to land in Toledo, Ohio, because of the severe winter weather and had to rent a car to get to the game.

"I remember a lot of the motels wouldn't give us a room because we had our 49ers gear on and Cincinnati was the team we were playing," Montanez said.

Once they got to the game, Montanez said they sneaked into the game by paying the turnstile attendant at the Pontiac Silverdome $100.


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"They were only taking big bills," he said.

Once inside, they had to mingle amid the crowd to find empty seats. Eventually, they bartered their way into decent seats.

As for the game itself -- a 26-21 Niners' victory over the Bengals -- Montanez said he vividly remembers a goal-line stand by the defense in the third quarter to keep the lead. One particular play stands out: Linebacker Dan Bunz, on a swing pass, "stood up" the Bengals running back to keep him from the end zone.

"To see them win that game, after all those years, was really exciting," Montanez said. "I remember all the Cincinnati fans in our hotel telling us we got lucky."

The celebration ended up going well into the next morning, so much so that they missed their flight home, Montanez said. They had to pay $100 more to catch a later flight, but wound up on the same flight back to San Francisco as the players' wives, he said.

Montanez bought copies of the Cincinnati and Dallas newspapers on the way home, ironically the cities of the two teams the 49ers defeated to win the Super Bowl.

Montanez, a retired 36-year U.S. Steel steelworker who also worked for 15 years at the Concord Pavilion, proudly says he went to Pittsburg High School with Hall of Fame 49ers running back John Henry Johnson, attended games at Kezar Stadium and was a season-ticket holder for nearly four decades until three years ago. His most vivid memories of the team are from the 1980s and the Bill Walsh-Joe Montana era, including seeing "The Catch," the iconic pass from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark in the 1982 NFC Championship.

"That play right there started our dynasty," Montanez said.

The Niner fan's Antioch home is filled with 49ers trinkets. His porch has a 49ers "Faithful flag," while his 11-year-old dog Buddy wears a 49ers scarf. The mantle over his brick fireplace is festooned with 49ers framed posters, pictures, encased autographed footballs, beer steins, action figures and die-cast trucks. Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse figurines both sport the red oval "SF" logo, while a specialty coffee can includes a picture of Montana.

The rarest piece of memorabilia, he said, is probably a practice helmet from 1946 that he received watching a scrimmage at Saint Mary's College.

Daughter Linda Steiner says some 49ers Christmas ornaments and red and gold tinsel were kept up in the house because the team is winning.

Although Montanez has slowed down a little bit, listening to sports radio and following the team "keeps him sharp," she said.

"Some of the things he remembers about the games and players is incredible," Steiner said.

As for current players, Montanez says he likes watching Frank Gore.

"He's a good running back and plays hard. He really wants to get a ring," he said.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.