Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Friday, April 8, 2011

Vintage Fridays: Frank Robinson, 1971 Topps #640

Today marks the 36th anniversary of a momentous day in both baseball history and the life of Frank Robinson. On April 8, 1975, the future Hall of Famer became the first black manager in MLB history when his Indians opened their season at home against the Yankees. Jackie Robinson's widow Rachel threw out the ceremonial first pitch in front of a crowd of 56,715. Frank was still on the active roster as a player, so he penciled himself into the starting lineup as the designated hitter, batting second behind Oscar Gamble. The 39-year-old brought the Cleveland fans to their feet by taking Doc Medich deep in the first inning for his 575th career home run. It was also his eighth career Opening Day homer, a record. With one swing of the bat, the Tribe led 1-0.

In the following half-inning, the Yankees jumped on Indians starter Gaylord Perry for three runs on four hits, with Chris Chambliss' two-run double serving as the big blow. But the wily veteran clamped down and shut out the visitors over the final seven innings, and the Cleveland batters battled back with a big contribution from another prominent former Oriole. 33-year-old Boog Powell, acquired from the O's in a trade two months earlier, slugged a solo home run in the fourth inning (#304 of his career) to tie the game at 3-3. Two innings later, he drove in George Hendrick with a double to put the Indians on top 4-3. Boog eventually scored on a Jack Brohamer single to make it 5-3, and that would be the final. Frank Robinson began his managerial career with an exciting win.


Commishbob said...

You could PhotoShop out the details and you'd still know its Frank. That straight up stance and straight up bat. Gotta be Frank.

Kevin said...

I dig the sideburns, too. He must have made an impression on young Eddie Murray!