Eddie Robinson Turns 100

I only purchased a few original 1952 baseball cards as the cards are very expensive.  At the time I purchased these cards, the set and even a top condition Mickey Mantle card was worth more than my house.  I have only relatively inexpensive cards of players with 100 RBIs or 100 runs, including Eddie Robinson, Luke Easter and Tommy Holmes.

1952 trioEddie Robinson played from 1942 to 1957 with seven of the eight American League teams and drove in over 100 RBIs three years in a row from 1951 to 1953.  As I also collect last cards of players with career stats, I also have the 1957 Topps Eddie Robinson card.

eddie 1957

Eddie played for the Cleveland Indians from 1942 to 1948.  He then played for the old Washington Senators from 1949 to part way in 1950.  He then played from the Chicago White Sox from 1950 to 1952 where he had his best seasons.  In 1951, Eddie had 29 HR and 117 RBI, good for third in the American League in both categories.      

26-9780355Bk

In 1952, Eddie topped the 100 RBI mark once again, finishing one behind former teammate Al Rosen for the league lead.

 

Eddie played for the Philadelphia A’s in 1953 where he was a teammate of another significant old-time living player, Bobby Shantz.  That year Robinson topped 100 RBI for the third straight year but his batting average dropped significantly to .247.

33-62Bk

Robinson played part-time for the New York Yankees from 1954 until June 1956 when he was traded to Kansas City.

He then played the remainder of the 1956 season with the Athletics, who had just arrived in KC from Philadelphia the year before.  Though Robinson has cards with the A’s from earlier in his career, he has no cards from his time in Kansas City.

After half a season with the A’s, Robinson finished his career in 1957 with brief stints for three teams: the Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, and Baltimore Orioles. His final Topps card as a player portrays him as a Detroit Tiger, and he appears with the Orioles as a coach in 1960, along with Harry Brecheen and Lum Harris.

The most significant achievements in Eddie’s playing career were winning the 1948 World Series with the Cleveland Indians and driving in runs in the 1942 and 1952 All-Star Games, where he batted in Joe DiMaggio and Minnie Minoso respectively.   

Eddie Robinson is the oldest living major league baseball player.  He was born December 15, 1920, in Paris, Texas and turns 100 on December 15, 2020.

Editor’s Note: Readers looking to celebrate may enjoy Eddie’s podcast on “The Golden Age of Baseball” or his autobiography, “Lucky Me.” His SABR Biography by C. Paul Rogers III is also a great read.

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Postscript

One of the next oldest living players is Bobby Shantz. He is 95 years old, as he was born on September 26, 1925 in Pottstown, PA. He is popular player within the Philadelphia Connie Mack SABR chapter.

I met him in the late 80s and early 90s as he was signing autographs at many baseball cards shows around Philadelphia. He was always available and ready to sign his autograph for free. He was easygoing and didn’t say much unless asked.

In 1952, Bobby Shantz won 24 games and lost 7 games for the Philadelphia A’s, and won the AL MVP award. I have Bobby’s 1953 Topps card, which is one of the very few original 1953 cards in my collection.

Bobby was a teammate of Eddie Robinson in 1953, which may be the earliest season for which two teammates are still alive. As Robinson and Shantz are our two oldest living all-stars, it is definitely the earliest year that two living former all-stars played on the same team.

4 thoughts on “Eddie Robinson Turns 100”

  1. Excellent post! I highly recommend Eddie’s Podcasts and his autobiography. Eddie’s recall for names and details of events is amazing. Some of the stunts that the ballplayers pulled on each other are priceless.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. All 1952 Topps BB cards are beautiful, as are yours. Great post. I was surprised to read elsewhere that the number of former MLB players who lived to hit the century mark is only around 21 guys if I remember correctly. I knew one of them. (Mike Sandlock.) Tough, humble, disciplined, these war era ballplayers, like Eddie and Mike, were.
    One of the hidden treasures of my accumulation is a stack of Eddie Robinson signed Atlanta Braves checks from the 60’s & 70’s, made out to guys like Napoleon Reyes and other scouts.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I was told by Bob Dibiasio, the Indians’ VP of Public Relations, that the organization sent Robinson a personalized Jersey with the number 100 for his birthday.

    Like

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