Remembered as one of Gainesville High’s top athletic standouts, multi-sport athlete and former University of Georgia talent Jack Roberts died April 21. He was 86.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Friday at Fayetteville First United Methodist Church (170 Lanier Avenue East, Fayetteville). The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Fayetteville First United Methodist Church.
Roberts was a jack-of-all-trades as a prep standout between 1946-1949, having received All-State honors for football, baseball, basketball and track. In 1958, he was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame for all four sports.
A half back by trade, Roberts was named a captain on the 1948 Gainesville High football team. Joe Whitaker, who was a teammate for three years with Roberts, said he had many memories of Roberts as a good teammate.
“He was a great guy,” said Whitaker. “Of all the backs I played with, he was the only one who would come around and thank you for blocking for him. He was just an outstanding athlete and an outstanding person.”
Roberts went on to play baseball and football for the Bulldogs. He led the Georgia baseball team to a 1953 SEC title, going 8-2 with a then-school record 87 strikeouts.
Following his graduation from Georgia, he was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals organization. He later played for their Triple-A club Rochester, as well as spent time playing for the Atlanta Crackers.
He put his professional baseball career on hold to serve with the United States Air Force from 1956-58.
Roberts had his Gainesville High jersey retired in 2008.
“He was one of the top five athletes to graduate from Gainesville High School,” said Whitaker.