I’ve carried a grudge against Frank Robinson for 49 years.
One of my earliest baseball memories is of me lying in bed sick, my mom letting me stay up a little late to listen to my beloved, pitiful Washington Senators play the dynastic, overdog Baltimore Orioles on the radio.
It was a close game until Frank Robinson hit two grand slams in a matter of minutes. I can still hear Warner Wolf’s calls. And the rout was on. I knew enough about baseball to know that this wasn’t how that game was supposed to go! Babe Ruth hit homers for the sick kid, for crissakes!
The O’s won the World Series that year and the Senators left for Texas. So I jumped on the Baltimore bandwagon the next season, but Robinson was traded out west just a year later and finished up in Cleveland. So he never did anything to make me forget the night he reverse Ruth’d my sick-kid ass.
That’s all I’ve thought about since hearing the news today that Robinson died at 83 years old. God, what a career! God, what numbers! The only player to win MVPs in both leagues! The first black manager! The guy was as good as they come. You can read all that stuff here.
But not from me. Nah, I never liked Frank Robinson.