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Here's to you, Mr. Robinson

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  Younger Frank                                   More Vintaged Frank

Rocket Bill notes today that Frank Robinson has been in the major leagues---in one capacity or another, but always a prominent one---for fifty years.

Fifty years. Now that's a long time. Julio Franco wasn't even arbitration-eligible back then.

In all seriousness, let's take some time out to reflect on Robinson's career and give him the praise he deserves. Congratulations, Mr. Robinson. We, the jerky bloggers, give you a lot of grief, but we know how much you mean to the National Pastime. I realize you're probably not reading this---heck, by your own admission, you barely even know how to turn on a computer---but if you are, always remember that you've made the game better.

And, in that sense, you've bettered our appreciation for the game we so love.

Update [2006-2-20 22:49:11 by Basil]: You know what? There hasn't been a good Robinson biography in a long, long time. The Baseball Library provides the list through 2000, and there's not much there beyond the 70s, 80s, and early 90s. I did a quick search on Amazon and didn't find anything interesting in the past five or six years, either. A man of Frank Robinson's stature and recent experience---not to mention the experience of a lifetime in the game---deserves better than that!

The question becomes: who should write the definitive, late-in-life biography of Frank? Even among the Nat-o-centric press, there are some fine candidates: Svrluga, Ladson, Sheinin, Kark Wrighterman. Heck, Boz would lavish the praise up and down; before you knew it, Frank would be credited with being an original signer of the Declaration of Independence.

But, really, there is one natural choice for the biography of a seventy-year-old man, and that's the area scribe who values . . . well, let's just say experience. Definitely, Thom Loverro.