Skip to main content

'56 of the month: Eddie Robinson

Right now, this is one of my favorite cards in my collection.

I can see you staring at me aghast.

A Yankee card? One of your favorties?

Yes. Calm down. First, it's a Yankee from a long time ago, not one of those annoying ones from the last 45 years. Second, the reason it's my favorite doesn't have anything to do with him being a Yankee here.

No, it's one of my favorites because Eddie Robinson happens to be the oldest living former major league player. He is 99 years old, and took over the "oldest living" title last November. God willing, he will turn 100 in December.

I don't know how often I've had the oldest living former major leaguer in my collection, but this is the first time I've been aware of it. I think I've been paying attention to that "oldest" list more often since we're losing players from the '50s at a rapid rate now. These were the first "old" ballplayers that I knew, thanks to the gift of a bunch of 1956 cards when I was a young teen. And I've been sorry to see every last one of them go.

Two other '56 cards that I own feature two other people who rest in the top 10 of oldest lasting players: Ed Fitz Gerald at No. 6 (96 years young) and Wayne Terwilliger at No. 9 (age 94). Another '56er, Billy DeMars, is right outside the top 10 at No. 11 at 94 years old.

But back to Robinson.

Robinson (December 15, 1920!) was known as a slugger and he did most of his damage for the White Sox in the early 1950s. By the time he reached the Yankees he was strictly a bench player.

Robinson later became known as a major league general manager, working as GM for the Braves in the mid-1970s and the Rangers in the late '70s and early '80s. After that, he worked as a scout.

Since he played for a bunch of teams -- every original AL franchise except for the Red Sox -- he is the answer to "who is the oldest-living player" for the Yankees, White Sox, Indians, A's, Tigers and Orioles. He's also the oldest-living former Washington Senator.

But heck, he's the oldest-living in any MLB category you want to name, except probably bat boy. The guy played eight games in 1942!!


I hope Mr. Robinson is as well as can be expected in his advanced state. Now that we're in the '50s in terms of the oldest surviving players, I will probably have many more opportunities to possess a card of The Oldest Living Major League Player. I hope Robinson doesn't take any offense to my look into the future.

Not rushing you out the door or anything, sir.


Old Cards said…
Great story. Obviously, I like old cards, so any story about old cards is usually a good one. Like you, I am not a Yankees fan, but I have many cards of Yankees in my collection that I would not part with.
Fuji said…
I don't think I gave much thought into who was the oldest living player until I read that Bobby Doerr held the honor a few years ago. The name Eddie Robinson is familiar, but I wasn't familiar with the baseball player. I remember reading about the Grambling State University head football coach). That being said, this is a great looking card. The painting of the pickoff throw and dive back into first is awesome. I'm assuming he's the guy playing first base... but I guess there's a chance he's the runner.
friend11 said…
I love the action shots in the 56's
Commishbob said…
He was a signing guest at a card show I drove up to in Dallas last summer. I broke my own rule and paid to get his book signed. It wasn't crowded (he spent much of the time waiting for people to stop by) and he was happy to talk to anyone and everyone. He sure didn't seem to be nearing 100.

I have one of his game-used first-baseman's mitts and I wish I had thought to bring it along with me.

That is one of the sweeter cards from a set that's just chocked full of sweet ones. Great pick-up!
Chris said…
The iconic photo of a frail Babe Ruth in Yankee Stadium giving his farewell speech to baseball shows him using a baseball bat as a crutch. It was Robinson that offered Ruth his bat to use. He said that he kept it for years until he finally sold it. $10,000 was the price. I wrote a bit more about Robinson over on my blog if you’re interested.

Popular posts from this blog

Following up (again)

I need to tie off some loose ends about a few different topics, so I'll do that here and then I'll show you some cards from Fuji later. The cards he has been sending out have been all over the blogs lately so what I'll be offering isn't anything new.

So, some housekeeping:

1.  Thanks for your comments on the expansion post from last night. I do appreciate them and I know how fortunate I am to receive the amount of comments I do.

Sometimes, particularly after a very research-driven post that takes hours and hours over several days, if I receive a comment that says nothing but "you forgot this," it rubs the wrong way. That's what happened yesterday, a few times. I should have a thicker skin but I think I wore it off pulling all those cards out of binders and looking up web sites, and typing, typing, typing. I don't expect praise in every comment, but, you know, "yes and ..." is a little more helpful than "yes but ...".

So anyway, I&#…

Playing in the Big League

My 2020 Topps Big League team set arrived in the mail today.

I mentioned the other day that I decided to grab the team set in a bid to avoid buying packs and blasters of a set that I traditionally like too much and therefore spend too much money. The incentive to do this, which was stronger than ever at the start of the year, is even stronger now that the card aisles at Target and Walmart are both danger and disaster zones. (I know I could order blasters online but if I'm not collecting the set, that doesn't make much sense to me).

I realize this undermines the usual trades through the mail but hopefully I'll be opening packs of stuff at some point again this year. The pack rip itch will never go away.

And the thrill of getting these Big League cards all in one shot was too exciting today. As I pulled the cards out of the envelope, Tom Cochrane's "Big League" ran through my head -- "my boy's gonna play in the big league, my boy's gonna turn some…

Beer here

I've been doing fairly well adapting to life without baseball games to watch.

At the beginning of this pandemic, I was like every fan, trying to get my fix with old games on youtube and the MLB Network. Then those reruns lost their thrill and I settled in for a long, boring summer.

But it hasn't been that bad. I haven't moaned about missing baseball much at all.

The one time I did miss it, noticeably so, was last Sunday, Father's Day. To me, Father's Day IS watching baseball games on TV. That's about all there is to that day. Pop open a beer and watch the game. Then watch another and another.

Beer and baseball viewing go together exceeding well, as you know. And, damn, I was missing that combination dearly one week ago.

Beer and baseball combine so well that I once compiled my own All-Beer Team. And here's another illustration of how well beer and baseball go together:

There are some baseball players for which you remember them because of their association…