Baseball, Kangaroos and Mr. Robinson

What, you might ask? One of best baseball players passed away earlier this week. Frank Robinson is the only major leaguer to win the Most Valuable Player award in the American and National Leagues. Even though others got more notoriety, Robinson was an excellent player and a born leader.

He was also outspoken which leads me to the kangaroo thing. He held a Kangaroo Court in the locker room after games, complete with a judge’s wig. The purpose was to tease players with small fines when they failed to sacrifice for the team. For the non-baseball fans, the failures focused on not bunting a player over, hitting to right field to let a runner go from first to third base, not running out hit balls that looked like outs, overthrowing the cut off man, etc.

Although, he had individual success, his teams succeeded. The Baltimore Orioles won two championships and played in four World Series, while his Cincinnati Reds played in one. That is what mattered most. He helped his team focus on what made them win.

He was an obvious choice to be the Major League’s first African-American manager. Since he was outspoken, he said a black manager won’t truly be treated fairly until he is fired like all other managers. In other words, if he did not succeed, his race should not stand in the way of his firing. That is a very profound thought.

So, let’s toast the life of Mr. Robinson. He hit many homers, more than only a few players, but he played and coaxed his team to win. And, that is the true goal, for the team to win, not just achieve personal success. There is a reason he became a manager. Kanga would be proud of this Roo named Mr. Robinson.

4 thoughts on “Baseball, Kangaroos and Mr. Robinson

    • Hugh, I agree. Those Oriole teams were built for a season of excellence with their deep pitching staff. They swept the Dodgers in 1966 and beat a very good Reds team that was starting its dynasty 4 to 1.

      I started to include that Robinson was on the good side of the worst baseball trade where the Orioles gave up a pretty good pitcher named Milt Pappas. Robinson proceeded to win the American League MVP. Could you imagine Robinson on the same Reds team as Johnny Bench, Tony Perez and Joe Morgan had they not teased him? Keith

  1. Dear Keith,

    I’m not much of a sports fan but I know that it is quite the honor to win the ‘Most Valuable Player’ awards in both the American and National Leagues. From your description the award definitely fit the role that Frank Robinson played in various baseball teams that he was a part of making a difference for the better.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, sports can teach us so much. Baseball is a game where the best of hitters fail 70% of the time. So, it teaches how to bounce back. Robinson was a great leader for others to follow. Keith

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