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Full Version: Newest card in my collection: Bill Russell rookie!
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Previously I only used to care about what a player did on the court when collecting, but I've decided to refocus my collecting efforts to those athletes that made a great impact off the court/field in addition to on it.

My most recent purchase is this Bill Russell rookie card.

For those of you that do not know, Bill Russell was the first African-American head coach in the NBA.

Although he was not the first African-American player in the NBA, he was the league's first African-American superstar and completely redefined the game with his style of basketball.

He won 11 championships in 13 seasons and is seen by many as one of the greatest, if not the greatest, to ever play the game.

He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011 for his efforts in the Civil Rights Movement.

In 2009 the NBA Finals MVP award was renamed the Bill Russell in his honor.

He was born in 1934 in Louisiana, a state where lynching was still a common practice.

He endured ridicule by white students while enrolled at the University of San Francisco.

In the late 1950s after becoming a star on the Boston Celtics, he and his fellow black All-Star teammates were denied rooms at hotels in North Carolina.

In Kentucky, in the early 1960s he and his African-American teammates were denied service at a local restaurant before an exhibition game. They refused to play in the game (which created quite an uproar).

Russell marched with Marin Luther King Jr. in 1963, but refused to take the stage with King because he felt that so many others were more deserving of the honor for all of the work they had done for the movement.

While living in Boston during his playing days, someone broke into his house, left racist graffiti on the walls, and shat on his bed.

He has been quoted as saying, "We foolishly lionize athletes and make them heroes because they can hit a ball or catch one. The only athletes we should bother with attaching any particular importance to are those like Ali, whom we can admire for themselves and not for their incidental athletic abilities. (He supported Muhammad Ali's refusal to enter the armed services on grounds of his religious beliefs, by the way.)

I could go on and on, but I won't. Suffice to say, this man is a legend in many ways.

Hopeful future additions to my collection: Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Bob Gibson, Lisa Leslie, Hank Aaron, Manon Rheaume, Jesse Owens, Jim Brown, Muhammad Ali, and is going to be a long list.
Very nice! He is one of my all time favorites! I have several of his Autographed Cards in my PC.
Thanks much!
Awesome. Did not realize he won 11 championships in only 13 seasons.
(12-16-2016, 12:24 AM)hercules21 Wrote: [ -> ]Awesome. Did not realize he won 11 championships in only 13 seasons.
I know, right? That one still blows my mind.