Simply Baseball Notebook's Forgotten In Time

Eddie Robinson

Hilton Smith
Larry Doby
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1994 Expos
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1920 White Sox
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Eddie Robinson
Bobby Mathews
Jimmy Ryan
A.G. Spalding
"Dummy" Hoy
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Ken Williams
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Jack Taylor
Fred Lindstrom
Jim Thorpe


Cleveland Indians 1942; 46-48; 57
Washington Senators 1949-50
Chicago White Sox 1950-52
Philadelphia Athletics 1953
New York Yankees 1954-56
Kansas City Athletics 1956
Detroit Tigers 1957
Baltimore Orioles 1957

He was a four time All Star that could hit for average and power, and later evolved into one of the game's best pinch hitters. Touted by Ted Williams as the "most underrated hitter of all time," Eddie Robinson's name has been all but forgotten. 

William Edward Robinson was born on December 15, 1920 in Paris, TX.  He began his professional career in the Cleveland Indians organization and made his major league debut as a September call up in 1942.  After getting a small taste of the big leagues, he was sent packing to the War and wouldn't surface in the big leagues again until 1946.

After a 95 game stint in 1947, Robinson became the Tribe's regular first baseman in 1948.  In 134 games that season, he hit 16 HR with 83 RBI for the American League Pennant winners.  Robinson continued his fine hitting in the World Series batting .300 in the Indians six game victory over the Boston Braves.

Despite the strong showing, Cleveland sent the 28-year-old to the Washington Senators following the season along with two other players, for P Early Wynn and 1B Mickey Vernon.  It didn't take long however, for Robinson to adjust to his new surroundings, as he hit .294 with 18 HR and 78 RBI and appeared in his first All Star Game.

After a slow start in 1950, Robinson was traded again, this time to the Chicago White Sox in a six player deal.  The move saved Robinson's season.  In 119 games with his new team, he hit .314 with 20 HR.

In 1951, Robinson won a place in White Sox fan's hearts.  The only power hitter in the "Go-Go Sox" lineup, the slugger clouted a team record 29 long balls (first broken by Bill Melton in 1970), finished third in the AL with 117 RBI, hit a respectable .282, and returned to the All Star Game.

Robinson continued his strong play in 1952, hitting .296 with 22 HR and 104 RBI in another All Star season.  After the season, he was traded again in a controversial deal, this time to the lowly Philadelphia Athletics with two others for two-time batting champ Ferris Fain.

While his batting average dipped to .247 in 1953, Robinson kept up his power numbers, again belting 22 HR and driving in over 100 for the third consecutive season.  He appeared in his final All Star Game that season.

Robinson's stay in Philadelphia would be short-lived however, as the veteran was dealt to the mighty Yankees in a 10 player, blockbuster deal.  In New York he thrived in his limited duty, leading the AL with 15 pinch hits in 1954.

The following season set a major league record for most home runs with less than 200 at bats, smacking 16 home runs in just 173 at-bats.  The Yankees won the AL pennant that season, but fell to the cross-town Dodgers in 7 games.

After beginning the 1956 season in pinstripes, Robinson was dealt back to the Athletics, who were now located in Kansas City. He would appear in 101 games that season, mostly as a pinch hitter, and bat just .204.

Now 36 years old, 1957 would be Robinson's final season in the majors. After appearing in just 36 games as a Tiger, Indian, and Oriole, he retired.  Robinson retired with a .268 batting average, 1146 hits, and 172 home runs.  He struck out just 359 times in 4,282 at bats and posted a .353 career on base percentage.

-David Zingler, December 2003


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