On Thursday, Hall of Fame baseball player and the first African-American manager in the sport, Frank Robinson, passed away at the age of 83 after losing his battle with bone cancer.
There aren't five players who had more of an impact on the game than Robinson, and his loss was felt by more than the just the baseball world. Robinson was great friends with NBA legend Bill Russell, who took time to comment on the devastating news yesterday.
Heartbreaking news in the passing of my Dear Friend & @McClymondsHS classmate Frank Robinson. It was my pleasure & great honor to have known him. We all know we lost one of the Greats, what we really lost was a Friend. #RIP @MLB @NBA @BleacherReport @MSNBC @CNN @SFGiants pic.twitter.com/KETXL9MhT8— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) February 7, 2019
Robinson and Russell went to McClymonds High School together in Oakland, Calif., and were teammates on the basketball team.
I'm sure Russell dominated the high school ranks and was a scout's dream, but it was Robinson who was the better all-around player, according to former NBA head coach Charlie Eckman.
This picture from the 1952 McClymonds High School yearbook features basketball teammates Frank Robinson and Bill Russell.— Brody Logan (@BrodyLogan) February 7, 2019
Fort Wayne coach Charlie Eckman scouted them both
"Robinson was All-NBA as a high schooler. Russell could play defense, but Robinson could do everything." pic.twitter.com/RgqH3TWbx5
"(Orioles manager and Hall of Famer) Frank Robinson could do it all," said Eckman. "He was All-NBA as a high schooler. Russell could play defense, but Robinson could do everything."
So, Robinson could've been one of the greatest basketball players to ever play?