Orioles Card "O" the Day

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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Frank Robinson, 2009 Topps Legends of the Game #LG-FR

Maybe I'm easily amazed, but I think it's incredible that three Oriole greats celebrate their birthdays in the last two weeks of August. Boog Powell was born on the 17th, Cal Ripken, Jr. on the 24th, and today Frank Robinson turns 75. Robby had such an immense impact on the O's, it's hard to believe that he played in Baltimore for just six years. Needless to say, he made those years count, averaging nearly thirty home runs per year, a .401 on-base percentage, and a .543 slugging percentage. The MVP, Triple Crown, four pennants, and two world championships were pretty nifty too.

In honor of Frank, let me see if I can compile an All-Robinson Team:

C Aaron Robinson (1943-1951) - Career .260 hitter, one-time All-Star, his best season was 1946. He hit .297 with 16 HR and 64 RBI with the Yankees.

1B Eddie Robinson (1942, 1946-1957) - Four-time All-Star drove in 100 runs in three straight years, peaked with .282 AVG (.371 OBP), 29 HR, 117 RBI for White Sox in 1951. Played the final four games of his career with the Orioles.

2B Jackie Robinson (1947-1956) - First African-American player in MLB, inducted into Hall of Fame in 1962. Six-time All-Star, Rookie of the Year, 1949 NL MVP (.342 AVG, .432 OBP, 38 2B, 12 3B, 16 HR, 124 RBI, 37 SB). Batted .311 overall.

SS Yank Robinson (1882, 1884-1892) - Had to dig way back for this one. William H. "Yank" Robinson played all over the infield, and played chiefly for the St. Louis Browns of the American Association. He led his league in walks three times, and had almost as many bases on balls as hits: his career batting average was .241, but his on-base percentage was .375. From the "It Was a Different Game" file, he committed 95 errors at second base in 125 games in 1886!

3B Brooks Robinson (1955-1977) - Do I need to tell you about him? Hall of Famer, 1964 AL MVP, 1970 World Series MVP, 16-time Gold Glover, 18-time All-Star, 268 career home runs. He's also a pretty nice guy.

LF Frank Robinson (1956-1976) - The man of the hour. Hall of Famer, first player to win MVPs in both leagues, 1966 World Series MVP and Triple Crown winner, 586 career home runs, 1812 career RBI, 528 career doubles, .294/.389/.537 slash line. First African-American manager in the majors.

CF Bill Robinson (1966-1969, 1972-1983) - Longtime Pirate had his best years after turning 30, including four 20-homer seasons. Career year was 1977: .304, 32 2B, 26 HR, 104 RBI.

RF Floyd Robinson (1960-1968) - Starred for the White Sox early and ran out of gas quickly. Still hit .283 for his career. 1962: .312, AL-best 45 2B, 109 RBI.

SP Ron Robinson (1984-1992) - Big gregarious ginger went 14-7 with a 3.26 ERA in 1990. Also saved 14 and won 10 out of the bullpen in 1986, and could easily be interchanged with the next man on the list. If you're hard up for a pinch hitter, he batted .202 (18-for-89) for the Reds over a three-year span.

RP Don Robinson (1978-1992) - Won 109 games with a 3.79 ERA and 57 saves for his career in a variety of roles. Won 11 and saved 19 in relief in 1987.

MGR Wilbert Robinson (1902, 1914-1931) - Former Orioles catcher and John McGraw disciple "Uncle Robbie" won 1399 games and two NL pennants, spending all but one of his 19 years as a manager with the Brooklyn "Robins" (Dodgers). Also once had a fine mustache.

So there you have it. A solid team with four Hall of Famers and four one-time Orioles. If I had the patience to put together a full 25-man roster, early 1960s Oriole outfielder Earl Robinson would be there too. Happy birthday, Frank!

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