Friday, March 25, 2011

#55 - Frank Robinson (CAL)

Uh, what do I say?  Well, let's start out with a total bummer.  Frank's first ten years in the major leagues was as a Hall-of-Fame outfielder in the National League, but with the complete misfortune of having three other outfielders named Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Roberto Clemente in their glory years outshadow him at nearly every turn.  I mean, what more can you do than start out with the all-time rookie HR record and never look back?  Short of being Babe Ruth, not much.  And if his NL days weren't enough, his first year in the AL with the Orioles, he won the bleeping triple crown.  I'm not talking about just any triple crown, I'm talking about .316/49/122 in the pitching dominated late 60's.

But to give Frank the credit he deserves, one could talk for years.  I don't have time to do that here.  But I will say I enjoyed seeing him up close as skipper of my Giants in the early 80's.  Frank gave the umps quite a bit of his mind, and other things, when necessary.  Frank didn't have the best managing career, but he had some bad teams.  But 16 years of that after a HOF career as a player is really quite a combination and fairly unheard of.  Frank was hired as the first black manager in baseball back in the mid-70's with Cleveland.  That it took nearly 30 years from Jackie Robinson to Frank Robinson is still a head-scratcher.  Frank was traded in Sept of the 1974 season, and although late, I'm still including Frank's card in the "Traded with no Traded Card" category.

One of the things I really like about cards like this is all the small print on the back.  It means "full major league career."  Frank certainly had that.

Cartoon:  Well, nobody else does, because Frank watches movies standing up.  He is blocking everybody else's view.  You can tell by the look on his shadow's face that he's enjoying this Western.  Of course if Frank played today, he'd have an in-home theater room where he could watch without bothering anybody else.

Ballpark background:  Not a clue.  It appears as if Frank is wearing a home uni, but the Angels had a very light colored gray road uni that might look white in the sun.

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