In 1998, Joe Morgan was asked to help write a book, Baseball for Dummies, which was part of the “Dummies” series. It was a good series if you bought any of the books. They asked Joe Morgan to help write the book. Basically, he would be the expert to help their in-house writers. Anyway, Joe Morgan had to name his 10 greatest players of all time. One he named was Frank Robinson. I laughed at this picked and didn’t really pay much attention to why Morgan picked Robinson in the top 10 because I thought this was just a pick because he admired Frank Robinson. Not there isn’t a lot to admire about Robinson. He has certainly done more for baseball than baseball has ever done for him and there are not many people you can say that about.
Anyway 22 years later I’m making my top 1,000. I would have been shocked if Robinson wasn’t the third best right fielder. When I did the study, which took several months. I rated each player at one position, then when I finished all those. I put them 1 thru 1,000 based on points, but I allowed myself to move players up or down 5 spaces. Usually I move players up. I didn’t move Frank Robinson at all just placed him 12th. However, as I look at it now, I came to realize I put Robinson real close to the top 10 players. However, when I did some research, I realized that he was naming only position players, so Walter Johnson wouldn’t be on the list. He was on Joe’s list of top 10 pitchers of all time. I also have Barry Bonds ahead of Robinson. However, Barry was only halfway done with his great career in 1998 and hadn’t had some of his greatest season. Joe did have Barry as one of the top 10 current players. So, at the time, according to my rankings, Frank Robinson did belong on the list. I guess I owe Joe Morgan an apology, like he would care.
There are still some differences to the two lists, but that is understandable. While I have some prime in my calculation, Joe picked players who had a great prime, but had their career shorten for some reason. My formula turned out in my opinion is who had the best overall career, including some of how great a player was in their prime or peak. Joe’s thinking, in my opinion was that some players were so great they belong in the top 10. I have no problem with anyone who he placed in his top 10. All I am doing is giving my opinion with numbers.
Frank Robinson was a leader. I remember I was 10 thru 12 when the Orioles won three pennants and played in three World Series in a row. I could see he was no longer the best player, practically in 1971, but I could always tell who the leader was. It was Frank. I was not surprised when baseball finally had a black manager it was Frank Robinson. He seemed almost destined for the job. He was an underrated manager in my opinion. He didn’t have the best players but seemed to get a lot out of him. In 2002, Montreal ended up without owners. So, basically MLB owned the team. They asked Robinson to step down and manage the team. Despite the team not spending much money he took them to 83 wins each of the next two seasons. After having a bad last year in Montreal, Robinson was kept on as manager. He produced a .500 season to a team that was still had a shortage of qualify personnel. Frank Robinson was a recipient of a Presidential Medal of Freedom, well deserved.