Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Roy Firestone

Frank WAS here... This one comes from my heart

Recommended Posts

That’s awesome, Roy.    You captured the man perfectly.   

You mentioned his brawl with Eddie Matthews.    It happened in the first game of a doubleheader and Frank got punched in the eye and had to leave the game.   He came back in the nightcap and had a homer and a double and robbed Matthews with a diving catch.   “That’s the best way to get even,” he said.    Damned straight.   

Theres an account of that incident in this excellent NY Times piece on Frank from 1974.   https://www.nytimes.com/1974/10/04/archives/a-fighting-leader-frank-robinson.html

  • Upvote 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, Frobby said:

 

That’s awesome, Roy. You captured the man perfectly.   

You mentioned his brawl with Eddie Matthews. It happened in the first game of a doubleheader and Frank got punched in the eye and had to leave the game. He came back in the nightcap and had a homer and a double and robbed Matthews with a diving catch. “That’s the best way to get even,” he said. Damned straight.   

There's an account of that incident in this excellent NY Times piece on Frank from 1974.   

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1974/10/04/archives/a-fighting-leader-frank-robinson.html

 

o

 

I remember reading in one of Robinson's biographies that immediately following that fight, he came back to the dugout with a bloody nose, a bruised cheekbone, and he had jammed his index finger trying to punch Matthews ........ Matthews had been an amateur boxer prior to his baseball career.

A battered and bloody Robinson told his teammates in the dugout that he won the fight. When his teammates looked at him incredulously, Robinson then said, "I was safe, wasn't I?"

 

o

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, OsFanSinceThe80s said:

Can some please fill me in on the context of this photo?

Quote

A few months ago, when the New York Yankees were getting close to the Baltimore Orioles, former Oriole Curt Blefary said Baltimore could be caught because “they don’t have bid red S’s under their shirts.” Prior to tonight’s game, the Orioles, now leading by 10 games, showed Blefary  (center) that they are indeed some kind of Supermen. Exposing their shirts are Frank Robinson, Paul Blair, Brooks Robinson and Dave Johnson.

http://stuffnobodycaresabout.com/2012/09/19/yankees-and-orioles-pennant-race-just-like-the-old-days/

  • Upvote 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Roy Firestone said:

When I was batboy for the Baltimore Orioles in Miami, things didn’t start in the clubhouse till someone said, “Frank is here”.

“Frank”,of course, was Frank Robinson, future Hall of Famer, one of baseball’s greatest players ever, and the leader of the team.

There were great names in that locker room, and a few would also someday be Hall Of Famers too.

Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer,later Eddie Murray, and of course, manager Earl Weaver.

But there was only one “Frank”.

Frank came “here”, in Baltimore in 1966.

He was traded away after the Cincinnati Reds GM called him “an old 30.”

Frank would use that comment to motivate him, empower him.

“When I saw him double down the right field line on the first day of Spring Training, I told Dick Hall, “we just won the pennant with that guy.”.

He wasn’t wrong.

Robinson won the Triple Crown and led the Orioles to their first world championship that year.

As a ball player Robinson had few peers.

Mantle was the bigger name and more beloved.

Clemente was more graceful and elegant.

Musial a better hitter.

Mays and Aaron were more complete players.

But Frank Robinson was something that those others were not.

He was a fierce warrior.

Frank Robinson walked into that locker room and you could feel it.

“Frank’s here”, yelled Paul Blair when Robinson came into the clubhouse.

You knew who was in charge.

You knew immediately who had command of that locker room.

Frank was funny, sarcastic,acerbic, critical, uncensored, wise, and a true baseball sage.

Earl Weaver, who confronted almost anyone, would never confront Frank.

Weaver knew you don’t mess with a warrior.

Frank Robinson’s statistics were among the greatest in baseball history , but mere numbers can’t define the leadership, authority, and influence this man had.

No one else was Most Valuable player in both the National and American league.

No one else was manager of the year in both leagues.

Frank Robinson was the first black manager in major league baseball, and he homered in his first at bat as a player manager too.

He was a lion of a man.

A figure who led, influenced,empowered, and inspired his teammates to win.

I remembered the game when he hit the longest home run at Memorial Stadium, the game where he hit TWO grand slams, the catch falling into the right field stands in New York.

But no one moment defines Frank Robinson better than beating the tag at home plate in the winning run in game 6 of the 1971 World Series.

It was a metaphor for the player he was.

Frank Robinson was determined and aggressive and would not be denied.

It was the last World Series Robinson would ever play in. Robinson played that game like he know he’d never have another chance.

Frank Robinson was, like his predecessor who shared his last name, Jackie Robinson,strong willed, courageous, stubborn, and single minded.

Like Jackie he broke down barriers, pushed convention, and demanded to be respected and heard.

He didn’t just “come to play” he came to win.

Talent was only part of it.

Will was certainly most of it.

There was a fire that burned within him and it spilled over onto the field…

He brawled with Eddie Mathews on the field.

He slid hard on the base paths, taking all he endured and suffered as a black man in baseball in the 50’s and early 60’s and exorcised his demons on the field of play.

He challenged teammates.

He insulted teammates.

He made them laugh and he made them competitively angry.

He was a critic, and advocate and activist for his teammates and the game of baseball to do better.

He offended some…and uplifted many.

Once, when he was Giants manager, he went to the mound and asked for the ball from the pitcher he was taking out of the game.

The pitcher “flipped” it to him.

Robinson grabbed the pitcher on the mound and said “don’t you EVER flip a ball to me again…or I’ll knock you on you ass right here on the mound in front of everyone.”

Robinson demanded respect..and like Jackie, he didn’t much care if you liked him or not.

You WOULD respect him.

I can’t say Frank Robinson was an easy man.

He led a hard life in his youth, never knew his father,lived in poverty…and shared injustice with his high school basketball teammates Bill Russell(yes, THE Bill Russell)  Curt Flood, and Vada Pinson.

When he came to Baltimore he couldn’t live in any white areas..but Brooks Robinson helped him find a home for Robinson’s family, and Frank never forgot Brooks’ kindness and help. When he lay dying Brooks called him and the two chatted with mutual respect and gratitude…

Frank Robinson was a force on nature…

He never stepped back.

He never stepped away from a challenge.

I saw his first at bat as an Oriole when he played in his first game in Spring Training.

On the first pitch,he hit a ball over the clock at Miami Stadium about 500 feet away.

The Orioles had arrived.

“Frank was here”.

His loss to baseball is profound.

There were greater players..but not many.

There weren’t many who had a greater impact on the game and his like will never be seen again.

He was one of a kind.

“Frank WAS…here”

Indeed!

Related image

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outstanding Roy.  Your captured the feel of Frank.

One of my lasting memories of Frank is that he stood very close to the  plate, arms over the plate.  He took the inside away from the pitcher.  If the pitcher dare to come inside and knock him down it was game over. Because then the pitcher had awakened the loin.  He would get up and beat you.  Homer. RBI double. what ever it took.  He was fearless and most pitcher knew not to come inside.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Roy Firestone said:

When I was batboy for the Baltimore Orioles in Miami, things didn’t start in the clubhouse till someone said, “Frank is here”.

“Frank”,of course, was Frank Robinson, future Hall of Famer, one of baseball’s greatest players ever, and the leader of the team.

There were great names in that locker room, and a few would also someday be Hall Of Famers too.

Brooks Robinson, Jim Palmer,later Eddie Murray, and of course, manager Earl Weaver.

But there was only one “Frank”.

Frank came “here”, in Baltimore in 1966.

He was traded away after the Cincinnati Reds GM called him “an old 30.”

Frank would use that comment to motivate him, empower him.

“When I saw him double down the right field line on the first day of Spring Training, I told Dick Hall, “we just won the pennant with that guy.”.

He wasn’t wrong.

Robinson won the Triple Crown and led the Orioles to their first world championship that year.

As a ball player Robinson had few peers.

Mantle was the bigger name and more beloved.

Clemente was more graceful and elegant.

Musial a better hitter.

Mays and Aaron were more complete players.

But Frank Robinson was something that those others were not.

He was a fierce warrior.

Frank Robinson walked into that locker room and you could feel it.

“Frank’s here”, yelled Paul Blair when Robinson came into the clubhouse.

You knew who was in charge.

You knew immediately who had command of that locker room.

Frank was funny, sarcastic,acerbic, critical, uncensored, wise, and a true baseball sage.

Earl Weaver, who confronted almost anyone, would never confront Frank.

Weaver knew you don’t mess with a warrior.

Frank Robinson’s statistics were among the greatest in baseball history , but mere numbers can’t define the leadership, authority, and influence this man had.

No one else was Most Valuable player in both the National and American league.

No one else was manager of the year in both leagues.

Frank Robinson was the first black manager in major league baseball, and he homered in his first at bat as a player manager too.

He was a lion of a man.

A figure who led, influenced,empowered, and inspired his teammates to win.

I remembered the game when he hit the longest home run at Memorial Stadium, the game where he hit TWO grand slams, the catch falling into the right field stands in New York.

But no one moment defines Frank Robinson better than beating the tag at home plate in the winning run in game 6 of the 1971 World Series.

It was a metaphor for the player he was.

Frank Robinson was determined and aggressive and would not be denied.

It was the last World Series Robinson would ever play in. Robinson played that game like he know he’d never have another chance.

Frank Robinson was, like his predecessor who shared his last name, Jackie Robinson,strong willed, courageous, stubborn, and single minded.

Like Jackie he broke down barriers, pushed convention, and demanded to be respected and heard.

He didn’t just “come to play” he came to win.

Talent was only part of it.

Will was certainly most of it.

There was a fire that burned within him and it spilled over onto the field…

He brawled with Eddie Mathews on the field.

He slid hard on the base paths, taking all he endured and suffered as a black man in baseball in the 50’s and early 60’s and exorcised his demons on the field of play.

He challenged teammates.

He insulted teammates.

He made them laugh and he made them competitively angry.

He was a critic, and advocate and activist for his teammates and the game of baseball to do better.

He offended some…and uplifted many.

Once, when he was Giants manager, he went to the mound and asked for the ball from the pitcher he was taking out of the game.

The pitcher “flipped” it to him.

Robinson grabbed the pitcher on the mound and said “don’t you EVER flip a ball to me again…or I’ll knock you on you ass right here on the mound in front of everyone.”

Robinson demanded respect..and like Jackie, he didn’t much care if you liked him or not.

You WOULD respect him.

I can’t say Frank Robinson was an easy man.

He led a hard life in his youth, never knew his father,lived in poverty…and shared injustice with his high school basketball teammates Bill Russell(yes, THE Bill Russell)  Curt Flood, and Vada Pinson.

When he came to Baltimore he couldn’t live in any white areas..but Brooks Robinson helped him find a home for Robinson’s family, and Frank never forgot Brooks’ kindness and help. When he lay dying Brooks called him and the two chatted with mutual respect and gratitude…

Frank Robinson was a force on nature…

He never stepped back.

He never stepped away from a challenge.

I saw his first at bat as an Oriole when he played in his first game in Spring Training.

On the first pitch,he hit a ball over the clock at Miami Stadium about 500 feet away.

The Orioles had arrived.

“Frank was here”.

His loss to baseball is profound.

There were greater players..but not many.

There weren’t many who had a greater impact on the game and his like will never be seen again.

He was one of a kind.

“Frank WAS…here”

Thank you Roy, beautifully written!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

Well stated Roy. You captured him well and I'm sure he would be proud of the 'ol bat boy!

Thanks Tony. As I said he wasn't a "touchy feely" man. He didn't care that you loved him. He only demanded you respect him.He was the Bill Russell of MLB, a natural link to Jackie Robinson....his idol.

 

 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

Orioles Information


Orioles News and Information

Daily Organizational Boxscores

News

Tony's Takes

Orioles Prospect Information

2018 End of Season Top 30 Prospects List

Prospect Scouting Reports

Statistics

2019 Spring Training Stats

Baseball Savant Stats

Minor League Stats







×
×
  • Create New...