Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Other Great Baseball Legend Named Robinson

He was one of the more accomplished players, but not really one of the most appreciated.  Frank Robinson played for 21 years, managed for 17 more, and was elected to the Hall Of Fame in 1982.

He has all the accolades.  NL Rookie Of The Year, MVP in both leagues, 12 time All-Star...

AL Triple Crown winner, World Series MVP, All-Star MVP, Gold Glove winner,

17x 20 HR seasons, 11x 30, and one 40.  6 100 RBI seasons.  And one 200 hit season.

AL Manager of the Year, and of course, the first African-American manager in MLB history.

But those are the obvious facts.

Some other interesting items from his page on Baseball Reference's Bullpen Wiki:

If you asked any second baseman or shortstop in the 1960s who was the one guy they didn't want to see the response would have been immediately "Frank Robinson". He was the most feared baserunner of his time. 

Frank's impact in 1966 was more than the obvious Triple Crown. He brought an "edginess" to the Orioles that had not existed before. Brooksie was a sweetheart. Boog a loveable oaf. Paul Blair, everyone liked Paul. And they HAD been winning 90 plus games without Frank so how much of a big deal was his toughness? Legit point. But the team talked about it, the opposition talked about it, and the O's just seemed like a different team.  

(It) was the 10th inning of the sixth game of the 1971 World Series, where in spite of a pulled thigh muscle which he'd suffered running to third on Merv Rettenmund's single, he scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly by Brooks that was so short that it barely seemed to loft past the infield dirt. Robinson just willed himself to home plate, and I swear the throw was wide simply because the g*%#!& baseball was scared to get within ten feet of Frank Robinson. Never mind poor Manny Sanguillen

Jim Bouton wrote in Ball Four: I was warming up in the bullpen when a fan leaned out and said, "Hey Jim, how do you pitch to Frank Robinson?" I told him the truth. "Reluctantly," I said. 

Frank Robinson was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

There are statues of him outside three different ballparks, and no one else will wear his #20 in Cincinnati, Baltimore, or Cleveland.

His tribute to Baltimore.

The boys from Intentional Talk recognize his legend.

He was assoicated with Brooks in their playing days and beyond, but Frank Robinson belongs right up there with Jackie in his legacy to the sport.


  1. Okay. That's it. I've got to get off my butt and see what Frank Robinsons I have laying around. Seeing all of these tribute posts and awesome cardboard makes me want to go out and add more to my collection.

  2. Really well put together post. I really enjoyed reading the excerpts from BR's Bullpen Wiki. Thanks!