Eddie Robinson (baseball)

William Edward Robinson (born December 15, 1920) is an American former Major League Baseball first baseman, scout, coach and front office executive of the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and 1980s who, during a 13-year playing career (1942; 1946–57), was on the roster of seven of the eight American League teams then in existence (with Red Sox as the sole exception). He is the author of an autobiography, published in 2011, titled Lucky Me: My Sixty-five Years in Baseball.[1] He is also the last surviving member of the 1943 "Navy World Series".[2]

Eddie Robinson
Eddie Robinson baseball.jpg
First baseman
Born: (1920-12-15) December 15, 1920 (age 99)
Paris, Texas
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 9, 1942, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
September 15, 1957, for the Baltimore Orioles
MLB statistics
Batting average.268
Home runs172
Runs batted in723
Career highlights and awards

Robinson is the last living person to win the World Series with the Cleveland Indians,[3] as well as the oldest living player to play on a World Series-winning team and the oldest living member of the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, New York Yankees, Philadelphia and Kansas City Athletics, and Washington Senators.[4] He is also the last living Major League Baseball player who played at League Park in Cleveland, which the Indians abandoned after the 1946 season. Following the death of Val Heim on November 21, 2019, Robinson became the oldest living former player.

Early lifeEdit

Eddie Robinson was born and grew up in the Northeastern Texas town of Paris. He was the only child of William Edward Robinson, an automobile electrician born in Missouri, and Hazel Robinson, born in Tennessee.[5] Eddie's father later left the family, and his parents divorced when Eddie was 12. He attended Paris Junior College.[6]


Eddie Robinson, a left-handed batter who threw right-handed, enjoyed his most prominent team moment when, at the age of 27, he contributed to his first team, the Cleveland Indians, winning the 1948 World Series. Although traded during that offseason, he was still at the top of his game and, at the next two teams, Washington Senators (1949–50) and Chicago White Sox (1950–52), experienced the most productive seasons of his time in the majors. In 1951 Robinson began his life-long relationship with Paul Richards when former player Richards started his major league career as a manager with the Chicago White Sox.[7]

Overall, he appeared in 1,315 games and batted .268 with 172 home runs and 723 RBI. Defensively, he finished his career with a .990 fielding percentage playing every inning at first base. He did not play in the 1943 through 1945 seasons, due to his service in the US Navy during World War II.[8]

A four-time All-Star, he was the American League's starting first baseman for the midsummer classics of 1949 and 1952. The first game was a slugfest, 11-7, won by the American League, with a Robinson first-inning single off National League starter Warren Spahn driving in Joe DiMaggio. In the 1952 game, a rain-shortened 3-2 National League victory, Robinson singled in the American League's first run, scoring Minnie Miñoso, who had led off the fourth inning with a double.

In 1955, while playing for the New York Yankees as a part-time player, Robinson hit 16 home runs while having only 36 hits. He also had more RBIs than hits, knocking in 42 runs. Despite these heroics, he hit only.208 in 173 ABs. He had 36 base-on-balls. [9]

Post-playing careerEdit

Upon retirement, he became a coach for the Baltimore Orioles and then moved into their player development department. A protégé of Orioles manager and fellow Texan Paul Richards, he followed Richards to the Houston Astros, then worked as the farm system director of the Kansas City Athletics during the tempestuous ownership of Charlie Finley in the mid-1960s. In 1968 he rejoined Richards in the front office of the Atlanta Braves. He succeeded Richards as general manager of the Braves during the 1972 season, serving through early 1976 in that post.

Robinson then returned to the American League as a member of the Texas Rangers front office. In 1977, Robinson was named co-general manager (with Dan O'Brien) of the Rangers, and became sole GM from 1978–82. Although the Rangers posted winning seasons in 1977, 1978 and 1981, a disastrous 1982 campaign cost Robinson his General Manager job.[10]

Continuing in baseball as a scout and player development consultant, he found his last position as a scout for the Boston Red Sox, the only team of the "original eight" American League clubs that he did not play for.

The last living Cleveland Indians player to win a World Series championship, Robinson attended Game 6 of the 2016 World Series between the Indians and Chicago Cubs at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Robinson currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas. After the death of outfielder Val Heim, Robinson is now recognized as the oldest living baseball player.

Personal lifeEdit

Eddie Robinson enlisted in the U.S. Navy after the 1943 season; he served three years. After basic training, he married Elayne Elder in February 1943. They had two children, one of whom died in childhood, and divorced in 1951.[11]

He married the former Bette Farlow, a native of Pittsburgh, Pa., in 1955.[12] The couple raised three sons — Marc, Drew and Paul.[11] As of 1993 they had lived in Woodhaven Country Club Estates for 15 years and also grew and sold pecans from a farm near Austin.[12]

He resides in Fort Worth, Texas, where he and Bette moved in 1984.[13][12]


  1. ^ Robinson, Eddie (2011). Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years in Baseball. Southern Methodist University. ISBN 978-0870745669.
  2. ^ "Navy World Series Throwback Softball Game". MWR Naval Station Norfolk. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  3. ^ AP (October 31, 2016). "The Latest: Francona unsure of left fielder for Game 6". USA Today. Retrieved October 31, 2016.
  4. ^ Stevenson, Stefan (October 31, 2016). "Eddie Robinson, last link to Indians' 1948 glory, going to Game 6". Star-Telegram. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  5. ^ https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/6224/images/4547990_00997?usePUB=true&_phsrc=NpN341&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&pId=62332925
  6. ^ https://www.ancestry.com/imageviewer/collections/61599/images/48096_555696_r-00479?treeid=&personid=&hintid=&queryId=e4d7a395eee42c55032b0bc9648b97a2&usePUB=true&_phsrc=NpN340&_phstart=successSource&usePUBJs=true&_ga=2.156378290.862951641.1602266351-1476066343.1601921819&pId=69552
  7. ^ "Paul Richards Managerial Record". Baseball-Reference.com.
  8. ^ C. Paul Rogers III (January 12, 2012). "Eddie Robinson". SABR. Retrieved November 1, 2016.
  9. ^ "Eddie Robinson Stats". Baseball-Reference.com.
  10. ^ "Rangers fire Robinson, veteran general manager". Star-News. June 11, 1982. p. 3D.
  11. ^ a b "Eddie Robinson – Society for American Baseball Research". Society for American Baseball Research. 2012-01-13. Retrieved 2020-10-09.
  12. ^ a b c "14 Jul 1993, 118 - Fort Worth Star-Telegram at Newspapers.com". Newspapers.com.
  13. ^ Vergakis, Brock. "From the WWII Navy to World Series champion, Eddie Robinson returns to Naval Station Norfolk". pilotonline.com.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Val Heim
Oldest recognized verified living baseball player
November 21, 2019 – present
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Paul Richards
Atlanta Braves General Manager
Succeeded by
John Alevizos
Preceded by
Dan O'Brien
Texas Rangers General Manager
Succeeded by
Joe Klein