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R.I.P. Frank Robinson

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I first heard of Robinson when ESPN Classic used to rerun all those old episodes of Home Run Derby:

 

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Not just an Orioles legend but a Reds and Indians legend as well. RIP Frank

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Rest In Piece Big Frank. Hope you and Wllie Mac are bashing homers in heaven.

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I once ran into Frank Robinson twice in the same day.  I was at a Yankee game against the Orioles in 1993, when he was the Orioles' assistant general manager, and I passed him walking the other way as I was heading to my seat.  I said "Hello, Mr. Robinson", and he said hello back.  (I didn't ask him for an autograph because I was aware of some ballplayers' resentment about people making money by selling their autographs; so I didn't want him to suspect me of exploiting him.)

Then, after the game, I actually saw him again as I was heading out of the Stadium!  He remembered me from earlier and smiled at me as we passed.  I said "Nice infield", because the O's had turned a couple of slick double plays; and he said "Thanks".  

 

This game took place a few days after the Mets had fired Jeff Torborg as manager; so I then said to him that the Mets should have hired him.  In response he adopted a horrified look, shook his head, waved his hands in front of him, and exclaimed with a laugh "No, no, no!"

 

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Without even getting into his firsts, Robinson had some pretty amazing stats. I think he's underrated among the all-time greats, if that makes any sense.

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20 minutes ago, the admiral said:

Without even getting into his firsts, Robinson had some pretty amazing stats. I think he's underrated among the all-time greats, if that makes any sense.

 

That makes perfect sense.

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Earl Weaver's great line: "I would tell Frank Robinson to hit a home run, and then he would. That's how people decided I was smart."

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Very sad day for baseball. Truly one of the great figures of the game, in my opinion, between his greatness as a player and his trailblazing as a manager and executive as well.

 

You can look up his very impressive statistics, but I think this specific group of awards (among many he had won) tells you everything you need to know about how great a player Frank Robinson truly was:

 

- NL ROY (1956)

- NL MVP (1961)

- AL MVP (1966)

- WS MVP (1966)

- Triple Crown (1966)

 

He also gave one of my all-time favorite sports “middle fingers” when the Reds traded him in 1965 because he was an “old 30”, then turns right around and has that ‘66 season in response. Not just sentiment speaking; that has truly always been one of my favorite baseball stories from the moment I learned it when first getting into baseball history. 

 

RIP, Frank.

 

 

 

 

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4 hours ago, FinsUp1214 said:

He also gave one of my all-time favorite sports “middle fingers” when the Reds traded him in 1965 because he was an “old 30”, then turns right around and has that ‘66 season in response. Not just sentiment speaking; that has truly always been one of my favorite baseball stories from the moment I learned it when first getting into baseball history. 

 

RIP, Frank.

 

Another great moment was when he homered in his first at-bat as Major League Baseball's first black manager, an event of Ruthian poetics.

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12 hours ago, the admiral said:

Without even getting into his firsts, Robinson had some pretty amazing stats. I think he's underrated among the all-time greats, if that makes any sense.

 

I’ll take it even further. I think he’s one of the most underrated legends in baseball history. His impact on the history of the game is something that I think is severely overlooked, and I’ve never really understood why that is. He should probably be spoken of with the same kind of reverence as guys like Willie Mays. 

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A true Orioles legend. His number is retired by the hall club despite only playing here six years. A big part of the glory days of Oriole baseball. And that was just while he was a player. 

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1 hour ago, Crabcake47 said:

A true Orioles legend. His number is retired by the hall club despite only playing here six years. A big part of the glory days of Oriole baseball. And that was just while he was a player. 

 

That's one of the things that is easy to overlook about his career.  His tenure with the Orioles was only about 1/3 of his playing career, but it may be the peak of his career.


It was a helluva of six years . . . 4 AL pennants, 2 World Series wins.  Not too shabby.

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5 hours ago, Crabcake47 said:

A true Orioles legend. His number is retired by the hall club despite only playing here six years. A big part of the glory days of Oriole baseball. And that was just while he was a player. 

 

That is quite something because when I think of Frank Robinson, I thought of him as an Oriole ... maybe it was because I sometimes would mix him up with BROOKS Robinson :)

 

Frank was one man you don't want to mess with.

 

 

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A lot of people don't remember that Frank Robinson was number 4 on the all-time home run list at the time of his retirement.  Absolutely one of the most underrated greats of the game.

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3 hours ago, DEAD! said:

 

That is quite something because when I think of Frank Robinson, I thought of him as an Oriole ... maybe it was because I sometimes would mix him up with BROOKS Robinson :)

 

 

Mix him up with Brooks Robinson, you say . . .

 

 

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2 hours ago, tp49 said:

A lot of people don't remember that Frank Robinson was number 4 on the all-time home run list at the time of his retirement.  Absolutely one of the most underrated greats of the game.

 

Yep, as well as retiring only 14 homers and 57 hits shy of joining the 600 HR / 3,000 hit club. If I’m not mistaken, only Mays and Aaron were members of that club back then. Robinson was a very, very, very great player and an underrated great of the game indeed.

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15 hours ago, Bucfan56 said:

 

I’ll take it even further. I think he’s one of the most underrated legends in baseball history. His impact on the history of the game is something that I think is severely overlooked, and I’ve never really understood why that is. He should probably be spoken of with the same kind of reverence as guys like Willie Mays. 

 

I think that may be in part because it was hard to be a singular player in that Baltimore machine where everyone was executing at a high level and then replaced, temporarily or permanently, by players who also executed at a high level. I think as time marches on the same fate will befall Chipper Jones and a laundry list of Cardinals.

 

And as the Weaver quote alludes to, the Orioles arguably innovated the ruthless efficiency of just getting guys on and knocking them in rather than fussing with station-to-station. Robinson, of course, was the guy who did so much of the knocking in, but as we know all too well now in the 3TO era, it's not a style of play that lends itself to the kind of heroism and memorability we associate with Mays. 

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On 2/7/2019 at 2:57 PM, neo_prankster said:

I first heard of Robinson when ESPN Classic used to rerun all those old episodes of Home Run Derby:

 

There is just something about old baseball films that make me smile. If only all sports could go back to that era.

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