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Eddie Robinson (1920–2021), oldest living former MLB player

by Linnea Crowther

Eddie Robinson was the oldest living former Major League Baseball (MLB) player and the last surviving member of the 1948 World Series winning Cleveland Indians.

MLB career

Robinson got his start in the minor leagues before being called up by the Indians in 1942. His career was interrupted by military service: He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before returning home, and to the Indians, in 1946. Robinson went on to play for seven of the eight teams that were then in existence – after being traded to the Washington Senators in 1949, he played for the Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia/Kansas City Athletics, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and Baltimore Orioles. A first baseman, he was a four-time All Star.

After his retirement from his playing career in 1957, Robinson became a coach for the Orioles and later worked in the front office for a variety of MLB teams. He was general manager of the Texas Rangers for several years, and his last MLB position was as a scout for the Boston Red Sox. In 2020, Robinson began hosting the podcast “The Golden Age of Baseball,” which he continued recording until shortly before his death.

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Robinson on playing baseball for the Navy

“I lost three seasons serving in the Navy. I don’t think any of us wanted that war to happen, but it did. They had a team here, so we played on the team, and I had a good time doing it. We were called the Naval Training Station Bluejackets and we had guys like Phil Rizzuto and Dominic DiMaggio on that squad. We beat up on pretty much everybody—man that team was loaded. We were the equivalent of a Triple-A team. Everyone knew that if you didn’t do well, you might have to go to sea, and that was a great motivating factor.” —from an interview for This Great Game

Tributes to Eddie Robinson

Full obituary: The Washington Post

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