December 2003 > Sports > The Seth Poppel Yearbook Library
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Lot 1665: Bill Russell and Frank Robinson High School Yearbook
Bill Russell Senior year and Frank Robinson Junior year. 1952 McClymonds High School, Oakland, CA. This book is also EXTREMELY RARE, with less than 5 copies having surfaced in the past 20 years due to its being very thin, having a soft cover and being from a 98% African-American high school with a relatively small graduating class from the early 50s. This particular copy is the finest ever offered for sale or auction and with the exception of some minor cover and corner wear, is as close to perfect as you can get. There are NO markings of any kind and the pages are clean, smooth and exhibit their original gloss. Bill Russell is shown with a posed individual graduation head photo (in cap and gown), as a member of the fall 1951 graduating class (this being a 1952 yearbook which shows both the fall 51 and spring 52 classes). The most amazing page, however, and perhaps one of the most amazing pages in ANY high school yearbook is when one turns to the Varsity Basketball team and sees a wonderful individual photo of Bill Russell palming out a basketball in each hand. On the same page and team there is a great individual photo of future baseball great Frank Robinson. Later on in the book is another great photo where Frank Robinson is shown with a group of the basketball players and the trophy they won!! Where else might you find arguably one of the top 10 basketball players of all time with one of the top 20 baseball players of all time, on the same team, same page BOTH with individual (not group) shots! When one turns to the Varsity Baseball pages you see Frank Robinson on the team as well as having an individually-posed shot. Not surprisingly both the basketball and baseball teams were Champions in their respective leagues!! The baseball team also shows Charlie Beamon who made a brief appearance in the major leagues during the 1950s. Today, Robinson and Russell are looked upon as athletic legends. Both are considered to be among a small group of the best players in the history of their sports. Both also are admired for breaking through barriers that had excluded African Americans from professional coaching ranks. The book also contains many large group activity, social and candid shots which either or both may be in, but because they are unlabeled, it is difficult to document.
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