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.