Wednesday, September 10, 2014

THEN AND NOW #14: FRANK ROBINSON 1975

Today's "Super Veteran" is none other than all-time great Frank Robinson.
Take a look at my card design:


Even though I could have easily used a 1976 card format (since he should have had a card in that set), I went with what was his last "official" player card set, 1975.
By the time the '75 season opened, as we all know, he was the Cleveland Indians player-manager, very significant since he was the first African-American manager in baseball's long history.
He was also established as one of the game's greatest players, well on his way to the Hall of Fame along with his contemporaries like Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente.
It's easy to forget that at the time of his retirement as a player, Robinson was fourth all-time in home runs with 586, only behind Aaron, Ruth and Mays.
He also did something that would be unheard of in this day and age when it comes to "magic numbers": he retired just short of 3000 hits, with 2943.
These days, unless you are pretty much forced out of the game under a dark cloud (see Barry Bonds or Alex Rodriguez), that's just not happening. The player will stick it out to get that 3000th.
He also had over 1800 runs scored and runs batted in, just monster numbers from a monster of a player.
A Rookie of the Year in 1956, two-time Most Valuable Player (1961 & 1966), and Triple Crown winner (1966), he finally had his Cooperstown day in 1982, getting named to 370 of 415 ballots.
How he was NOT named on the other 45 is beyond me.
But that's something for another day…

3 comments:

  1. Great work as always! Hey I have a card production question for you that I would hate to take up your blog with. Might you send me a note at hobbsjr11@yahoo.com so I can pose some very high level questions? Thanks in advance! RH

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great looking card. Robby was an incredible player. I didn't realize he was that close to 3000 when he stopped playing. I'll bet that he didn't want the conflict of being the manager and having to explain why he was or wasn't in the lineup even with the DH.

    For along time there was animosity between FR and the Reds team. He was bitter that they traded him for being an "old 30" but got his revenge in 1970 when the O's beat the Reds in the World Series. And even for a long time afterwards the various ownership groups did very little to make him a part of the Reds family again since he wasn't part of the Big Red Machine era. However recently the team has reached out to him and dedicated a statue of him in front of Great American Ballpark. He is also often involved with the team during reunions and other functions with the retired ex-Red players.

    There is a really neat story about Frank Robinson and Dave Parker. Parker grew up in the West End section of downtown Cincinnati which is the area that Crosley Field was located in. The story goes that FR gave the young Parker a glove out of his trunk after a game one time. Supposedly, Parker presented the glove to Robby during the 1977 All Star Game. I'm not sure if that's local legend or it really happened but I think it's pretty cool.

    ReplyDelete

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER...

@wthballs
Everything baseball: cards, events, history and more.