Former 49ers linebacker Charles Haley selected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

For Charles Haley, the sixth time was the charm.

Haley, the former San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys linebacker/defensive end whose five Super Bowl rings are the most by any player in league history, was voted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in his sixth time as a finalist.

He joins Junior Seau, Will Shields, Tim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Ron Wolf, Bill Polian and Mick Tingelhoff as Canton’s Class of 2015, which will be enshrined in August. Haley is the 23rd Hall of Famer the Niners will recognize.

With his résumé, Haley admitted he was starting to get frustrated with the wait.

“It’s kind of up and down with me,” Haley told the NFL Network when the finalists were announced earlier this month. “I’m bipolar. When I’m not called, I go into a little bit of depression.

“If it takes me passing away and my kid stepping up for me [at the induction ceremony], I’m good with that. Because I’m going to be looking down from heaven going, ‘Yeah, I could have told you I was worthy.’”

Truly, many observers wondered what took the Hall’s 46 selectors so long to recognize Haley, who was in his 11th year of eligibility and had 100.5 sacks in 169 games over 12 seasons, which included five Pro Bowls, two All-Pro selections, two NFC Defensive Player of the Year honors and 10 division titles.

A 1986 fourth-round draft pick (No. 96 overall) of the 49ers out of James Madison, Haley led the 49ers in sacks in each of his first six seasons, with 12 as a rookie and a career-high 16 in 1990.

But after wearing out his welcome in San Francisco, where he was part of two Super Bowl title teams, Haley was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in 1992, when he was switched to defensive end and elevated the Cowboys’ defense to a dynastic level.

The Cowboys won three titles in his first four years in Dallas, and his 4.5 sacks remain a Super Bowl record 19 years after he last played on Super Sunday, just ahead of Justin Tuck’s four sacks.