SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 4, 2013

Friends remember Beverly football legend Robbie Robinson fondly as one of the all-time greats

There will never be another athlete like former Beverly High great Robbie Robinson.

That can be said with virtual certainly, since Robinson holds a record that will never be broken since the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association changed the rules stating that high school athletes can only play one sport per season. Back in the 1940s, however, that wasn’t the case, and Robinson did it all, setting a Beverly High record for most varsity letters in his three years there. In the 1945-46 school year alone, he earned five varsity letters in football, golf, basketball, track and baseball.

Robinson, who lived in Ipswich, passed away on Christmas Day after a sudden illness. He was a member of the first class inducted into the Beverly High School Sports Hall of Fame back in 2003.

Two people who knew Robinson well were in that same Hall of Fame Class: ex-BHS football star Sandy Kessaris (Class of 1949) and former football player and highly successful coach, Bill Hamor (Class of 1959).

“Robbie played a few years before me and was one of the greatest athletes Beverly ever had,” said Kessaris, a halfback on the undefeated 1948 Beverly football team who went on to play at Brown University. “He did it all. It’s so hard to believe he played five sports in his senior year.

“He was my idol; besides being a terrific athlete, he was a real nice man. Whenever I’d run into him, he’s ask what I wanted to do and then open up the trunk of his car. He always had a football in there, and he’d throw passes to me. Football was everything to him.

"I always told him he was the best of the best. I can’t believe he’s gone; he called me recently just to say hi.”

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