Rest In Peace, Frank Robinson

“Frank Robinson (1935-2019): Hall of Fame outfielder who hit 586 home runs in his career (10th all time). The only player to win MVP awards in both the AL and NL. He also won two World Series rings with the Baltimore Orioles. Robinson managed 16 seasons in the majors and was MLB’s first black manager.” ~ Baseball Reference.com

Baseball Reference put it succinctly well ~ as clearly as Frank Robinson’s brain and bat made it obvious in those moments of loss by others to one of his teams what he had done to contribute to that outcome. Frank Robinson went into the Hall of Fame when players still needed rare greatness and measurable achievement in ways that also made it as clear that an inductee was going into the Hall of Fame as one of the best to ever play the game.  The now days of “very good” were not yet upon us as a ticket to the final resting place of honor for people like Cy Young, Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby or Willie Mays ~ and Frank Robinson unquestionably ranked among them. Not many did them better ~ and some things he did as a brainy and athletic human being were on a level all his own.

As much as he did as a role model for racial justice and equality in baseball during the still early MLB integration years, Frank was also most admirable for recognizing that he most appreciated the fans who cheered him in their own faith and trust as an individual performer as both a player and a manager.

What a guy we just gave up. ~ We’ll miss you, Frank, but we also know that you’ve given it your best for as long as you could. ~ We’ll all remember you. ~ And those of us who pray will remember you there too!

Rest in Peace, Good Man!

******************************

Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

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2 Responses to “Rest In Peace, Frank Robinson”

  1. Wayne Roberts Says:

    Robinson was one of my childhood favorites for all the reasons described in your blog. Beginning 30 years ago and for some 20 thereafter I collected autographs. I’d heard that Robinson was crotchety in dealing with collectors, particularly those who wanted personalizations. I went to a Houston show where he was highlighted and had the good fortune to be about fifth in line with my young son, Chris. During this period I’d get one or two items for myself and then try to get a personalized photo for Chris.

    On the table was a large sign reading “No personalizations”. I grimaced, muttered “what the hell”, screwed up my courage and as he finished my items asked for a personalized picture for Chris. Robinson looks up, stares intently at me, then Chris: “No,” he says firmly, now glowering at Chris. “I will not. The guy next to me (a Tristar dweeb) says I can’t, personalizations hold up the line and limit his profits. It’s in my contract. So instead of personalizing this photo I’m going to spend more time explaining to your son why I can’t do it then it would take to write ‘To Chris’. I see you have a camera, so instead of personalizing I’m going to ask Chris to come around the table, stand next to me and have you take a picture of us.” As the Tristar dweeb turned red and cringed Chris went around the table, I took the picture and Robinson says to Chris: “Sorry Chris, I hope you’re not too disappointed”. Chris beamed, “No sir, thank you”.

    God bless Frank Robinson. There’s a special place in heaven for you.

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