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View Full Version : Should Frank Robinson have gone in the Hall as a Red?



fearofpopvol1
07-15-2011, 11:57 PM
Some Stats:

- WAR: 65.7 out of his 116.3 were as a Red. 38.4 as an Oriole.
- Frank played for the Reds 10 seasons while only 6 with the Orioles
- Frank hit 324 of his 586 as a Red while only hitting while only 179 as an O

Robinson had larger numbers in pretty much every category across the board as a Red. I know 1966 was his standout year with the triple crown and I know he won 2 rings with the O's, but should that trump his individual career and the stats he produced as a Red? Should that have justified him going in the HoF as an O?

Thoughts?

Danny Serafini
07-16-2011, 01:38 AM
Two rings and a triple crown trump 10 years with neither I'm afraid. It could be worse, he could've gone in as a Dodger.

fearofpopvol1
07-16-2011, 01:44 AM
Two rings and a triple crown trump 10 years with neither I'm afraid. It could be worse, he could've gone in as a Dodger.

Yeah but the HoF doesn't elect teams in, it elects players based on individual stats, does it not?

Robinson played longer and earned more of his stats with the Reds than the Os.

BCubb2003
07-16-2011, 08:31 AM
Yeah but the HoF doesn't elect teams in, it elects players based on individual stats, does it not?

Robinson played longer and earned more of his stats with the Reds than the Os.

It elects players based on fame. We're the ones who try to make sense of the stats.

CySeymour
07-16-2011, 09:03 AM
Wasn't it Robbie's choice to go in as a Oriole?

RBA
07-16-2011, 09:24 AM
Never been to the hall, but I imagine that his exhibit includes his service with the Reds. This stuff about going in for a a certain team is overblown. I bet the Reds still claim him as a Hall of Famer.

http://baseballhall.org/hof/robinson-frank

When I did a search for F.R. on the hall site, it said his primary team was the Reds.

Also, included was the fact that he won Rookie of the Year as a Red and an MVP award as a Red.

BCubb2003
07-16-2011, 11:40 AM
Wasn't it Robbie's choice to go in as a Oriole?

Yes, I think that's how it works. Except in the case of Tampa Bay Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.

kaldaniels
07-16-2011, 11:41 AM
Yes, I think that's how it works. Except in the case of Tampa Bay Hall of Famer Wade Boggs.

I think after that debacle the Hall chooses for everyone now.

fearofpopvol1
07-16-2011, 08:09 PM
I think after that debacle the Hall chooses for everyone now.

That is correct.

Spitball
07-16-2011, 11:47 PM
I think after that debacle the Hall chooses for everyone now.

Actually, I believe it was Dave Winfield who changed the rules.

Spitball
07-16-2011, 11:52 PM
Dave Winfield: Winfield had spent the most years in his career with the Yankees and had had great success there, but chose to go into the Hall as a Padre due to his feud with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

In 2001, the Hall of Fame decided to change the policy on cap logo selection, as a result of rumors that some teams were offering compensation, such as number retirement, money, or organizational jobs, in exchange for the cap designation. (For example, though Wade Boggs denied the claims, some media reports had said that his contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays required him to request depiction in the Hall of Fame as a Devil Ray.)[20] The Hall decided that it would no longer defer to the inductee, though the player's wishes would be considered, when deciding on the logo to appear on the plaque. Newly elected members affected by the change include the following:

kaldaniels
07-16-2011, 11:55 PM
So was it Winfield or Boggs that was the catalyst for the rule change?

Spitball
07-17-2011, 12:38 AM
So was it Winfield or Boggs that was the catalyst for the rule change?

It was Winfield who was the final straw.

fearofpopvol1
07-17-2011, 12:42 AM
I wonder if the same is true of Robinson and that's why he chose to go in as an Oriole.

Based on individual numbers, as I said before, he should have gone in as a Red.

Spitball
07-17-2011, 12:49 AM
I wonder if the same is true of Robinson and that's why he chose to go in as an Oriole.

Based on individual numbers, as I said before, he should have gone in as a Red.

The rules were different and Robinson had some hard feelings towards the Cincinnati organization (really writer Earl Lawson) for several years afterward.

Mainspark
07-17-2011, 11:47 AM
Robinson was understandably bitter over the circumstances of the trade to Baltimore and that infamous "he's an old 30" remark.
I've read comments where he felt further insulted by the Reds organization when they failed to send a representative to his induction ceremony, a practice that is apparently common.
His relationship with the Reds appears to have been somewhat repaired over the past decade or so. I recall him wearing a Reds cap at some on-the-field gathering of Hall of Famers before an World Series or All-Star game a few years back.

Big Klu
07-17-2011, 02:08 PM
His relationship with the Reds appears to have been somewhat repaired over the past decade or so. I recall him wearing a Reds cap at some on-the-field gathering of Hall of Famers before an World Series or All-Star game a few years back.

I remember that. But I also seem to remember that someone on the event staff made an error, and he was supposed to have been given an Orioles cap.

Spitball
07-17-2011, 02:37 PM
It was Winfield who was the final straw.

I should say, "In my opinion," here. I base my opinion on the fact that Wade Boggs actually appears in a Boston cap on his HOF plaque.

fearofpopvol1
07-17-2011, 04:22 PM
Robinson was understandably bitter over the circumstances of the trade to Baltimore and that infamous "he's an old 30" remark.
I've read comments where he felt further insulted by the Reds organization when they failed to send a representative to his induction ceremony, a practice that is apparently common.
His relationship with the Reds appears to have been somewhat repaired over the past decade or so. I recall him wearing a Reds cap at some on-the-field gathering of Hall of Famers before an World Series or All-Star game a few years back.

That makes a lot of sense, but is it that enough to not go in the Hall with the team that you earned most of your stats with?

KronoRed
07-17-2011, 05:35 PM
It should be up to the player, really it's just an image on a plaque, if the player wants it to be a certain team he played for, more power to him.

kaldaniels
07-17-2011, 06:36 PM
It should be up to the player, really it's just an image on a plaque, if the player wants it to be a certain team he played for, more power to him.

Count me as one that says there should be a gray area on this one. That opinion is hard to support I'm sure, but let a player request what cap he wears, and if it isn't outlandish, let him wear it. If it is a total free for all, you will be asking for trouble in the end, with the HOF cap becoming a negotiating tactic with free agents for one. Dare I say just let common sense apply?

BCubb2003
07-17-2011, 06:41 PM
Count me as one that says there should be a gray area on this one. That opinion is hard to support I'm sure, but let a player request what cap he wears, and if it isn't outlandish, let him wear it. If it is a total free for all, you will be asking for trouble in the end, with the HOF cap becoming a negotiating tactic with free agents for one. Dare I say just let common sense apply?

Yes, I agree. And anyway, I remember Frank Robinson being the face of the Orioles back then, like Rose was for the Reds and Yaz was for the Red Sox. The Orioles' claim on him, or his claim on the Orioles, is legit.

Spitball
07-17-2011, 06:55 PM
That makes a lot of sense, but is it that enough to not go in the Hall with the team that you earned most of your stats with?

Sparky Anderson went in as a Red even though he had many more years with the Tigers. I was a bit surprised but happy with the decision.

fearofpopvol1
07-17-2011, 07:06 PM
Sparky Anderson went in as a Red even though he had many more years with the Tigers. I was a bit surprised but happy with the decision.

Sparky is a good example, but on numbers alone, he should have gone in as a Tiger. And I'm a big fan of Sparky.

Big Klu
07-17-2011, 09:03 PM
Joe Morgan played more years with the Astros than he did with the Reds.

BCubb2003
07-17-2011, 09:12 PM
We could a lineup of Hall of Famers' other teams, like Aaron with Brewers, Mays with the Mets ...

Red in Chicago
07-17-2011, 09:27 PM
Joe Morgan played more years with the Astros than he did with the Reds.

more years yes, but not more games, at bats, etc...

fearofpopvol1
07-17-2011, 11:27 PM
Joe Morgan played more years with the Astros than he did with the Reds.

It's less about the years and more about the numbers. Morgan earned 33.9 WAR with the Astros while earning 61 WAR with the Reds. It really wasn't even close.

Big Klu
07-17-2011, 11:44 PM
It's less about the years and more about the numbers. Morgan earned 33.9 WAR with the Astros while earning 61 WAR with the Reds. It really wasn't even close.

I don't know if you can use a stat that didn't exist until after a player is already inducted into the Hall as an argument. For a good part of Morgan's career, WAR was something that was going on in Vietnam.

(For the record, I absolutely think that Morgan should have been, and correctly was, inducted as a Red. I was just stirring the pot a little.)

fearofpopvol1
07-18-2011, 01:35 AM
I don't know if you can use a stat that didn't exist until after a player is already inducted into the Hall as an argument. For a good part of Morgan's career, WAR was something that was going on in Vietnam.

(For the record, I absolutely think that Morgan should have been, and correctly was, inducted as a Red. I was just stirring the pot a little.)

Fair enough. Even if you look at the counting stats, Morgan accumulated 72 HRs with the Astros while hitting 152 with the Reds. 324RBIs with the Astros while 612 with the Reds. 218 SBs with the Stros while, 406 with the Reds.

Nearly every category, Morgan had almost double the amount of total production with the Reds over the Astros.

Mainspark
07-18-2011, 01:56 AM
I think if an inductee spent significant portions of his career with more than one team, it's fine to let that Hall of Famer decide which hat he is shown wearing on his plaque.
Robinson didn't play the majority of his seasons in Baltimore, but that period certainly represented an important part of his career. Same with Sparky in his decision to be inducted as a Red rather than a Tiger. (That decision, by the way, apparently resulted in his Tigers number not being retired while he was still alive.)
And all the teams an inductee played for are listed on the HOF plaque.
If Griffey's Reds years had played out differently - more along the lines that Robinson's did in Baltimore, with a triple crown, MVP honors, world championships, etc. - I don't think there would have objections outside of Seattle if he went in as a Red.
That didn't happen obviously.
Should Frank Robinson have gone into the Hall of Fame as a Red? Yes. He should have spent his entire playing career as a Red.

cumberlandreds
07-18-2011, 08:48 AM
Maybe it was because of the time I became a baseball fan but I always thought of Robinson as an Oriole. I know he spent the most time in Cincy but he had some great years with the Orioles. One of those a triple crown season. He also won a couple of championships. Kind of hard not to put him in as an Oriole IMO.

Spitball
07-18-2011, 09:20 AM
(That decision, by the way, apparently resulted in his Tigers number not being retired while he was still alive.)


Anderson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in June of 2000. His Cincinnati number 10 wasn't retired until 2005.

Roy Tucker
07-18-2011, 10:26 AM
I don't think Robby was ever appreciated as a Red. His time as a Reds was fairly contentious with fans, management and media.

In Baltimore, he was greatly appreciated and he was there in the heyday of the Oriole Way of playing baseball. Which he epitomized and helped that team win a couple Word Championships and played in 2 other WS.

I just wish Cincinnati would have appreciated him while he was here.

Spitball
07-18-2011, 10:52 AM
I don't think Robby was ever appreciated as a Red. His time as a Reds was fairly contentious with fans, management and media.

In Baltimore, he was greatly appreciated and he was there in the heyday of the Oriole Way of playing baseball. Which he epitomized and helped that team win a couple Word Championships and played in 2 other WS.

I just wish Cincinnati would have appreciated him while he was here.

As I remember and understand it, Earl Lawson had a big hand in influencing public opinion against Frank Robinson. I was living in Cincinnati during my junior high years when Robinson was traded. Lawson was very critical of the Reds' star outfielder. I honestly remember him refering to Robinson's uniform as "his monkey suit." Hmmm...

Mainspark
07-18-2011, 11:56 AM
Anderson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in June of 2000. His Cincinnati number 10 wasn't retired until 2005.

I know. I was there; so was Sparky.

But the Tigers didn't retire his number until this season, in the wake of his death, even though it had been fairly well known that his health was fading in his last few years.

marcshoe
07-18-2011, 12:01 PM
I don't think Robby was ever appreciated as a Red. His time as a Reds was fairly contentious with fans, management and media.

In Baltimore, he was greatly appreciated and he was there in the heyday of the Oriole Way of playing baseball. Which he epitomized and helped that team win a couple Word Championships and played in 2 other WS.

I just wish Cincinnati would have appreciated him while he was here.

I'm not sure his Scrabble skills should be relevant. :p

Spitball
07-18-2011, 12:13 PM
I know. I was there; so was Sparky.

That is cool.


But the Tigers didn't retire his number until this season, in the wake of his death, even though it had been fairly well known that his health was fading in his last few years.

But how did this affect his 2000 decision to wear a Cincinnati hat?

Always Red
07-18-2011, 01:06 PM
But how did this affect his 2000 decision to wear a Cincinnati hat?

Sparky spent 9 years with the Reds, and compiled a .596 winning %, averaging 96.5 wins a year.

He spent 17 years at the helm of the Tigers, compiled a .516 winning percentage, which averages 83.6 wins over 162 games.

Spitball, I know your question was not directed toward me, but Sparky going in as a Red, is the same as Morgan going as a Red and FRobby as an O. That's where they had their greatest success and achieved greatness.

Morgan and Sparky are not HoF'ers without those years with the BRM, and while FRobby had 10 years of sustained excellence as a Red, he's probably not a HoF'er until you add in those glory years when the O's were so good for so long.

Sidenote- its hard for me to believe, but Sparky was only 44 when the Reds fired him.

marcshoe
07-18-2011, 01:08 PM
Sparky is known as a good manager because of his years with the Tigers. He is known as a Legend because of his years with the Reds.

Mainspark
07-18-2011, 01:32 PM
I think Sparky's decision to go in as a Red was based on his great success in Cincinnati, and, as I think he said at the time, in recognition of Bob Howsam's decision to give him his first big league job.
The unfortunately bad relationship Sparky had with Tiger ownership stemmed from a series of events at the end of his managerial career; among other things they fired the team officials he was closest to, and were outraged when he refused to manage replacement players, in the spring of 1995, I think. They were further irritated when he went into the HOF as a Tiger, according to reports at that time.
All of this was rehashed in a number of columns and stories at the time of Sparky's death, in which most writers condemned the Tigers organization for not doing more to rebuild a relationship with Sparky before it was too late to do so.
Fortunately, the Reds have made the effort to restore ties with Frank Robinson.

dfs
07-18-2011, 01:42 PM
As I remember and understand it, Earl Lawson had a big hand in influencing public opinion against Frank Robinson. I was living in Cincinnati during my junior high years when Robinson was traded. Lawson was very critical of the Reds' star outfielder. I honestly remember him refering to Robinson's uniform as "his monkey suit." Hmmm...

It's easy to blame Lawson, but his impressions were not out of line with the general publics' at the time.

It's a shameful chapter in reds history. Robinson unapologetically, got picked up by the law, carried a gun, married a white woman and held out for more money. Since he did play spectacular ball, all that might have been forgiven if Robinson had made nice with the media and front office, gone all "Ernie Banks who loves to play two" on them, but he didn't. He challenged them every step of the way.

For what it's worth, as a manager and executive, Robinson continues to be a challenging interview. As much of a thorn as he is in the side of baseball now....well, that's what Bill DeWitt had as an MVP in his clubhouse.

I honestly don't mean any of the above in an inflammatory fashion. Just making sure those who don't know the story understand. It wasn't just a matter of misidentifying talent in the trade. Robinson pretty much got run out of town.

If Robinson's picture had a reds cap on when he went into the hall, the gentlemen in question would have been justified in not showing up for his own induction. The Reds, no that's not right, Cincinnati didn't deserve Frank Robinson.

Spitball
07-18-2011, 04:50 PM
Spitball, I know your question was not directed toward me, but Sparky going in as a Red, is the same as Morgan going as a Red and FRobby as an O. That's where they had their greatest success and achieved greatness.


I don't think you read the previous response. I agree with all that. As was speculated by Mainspark, I was just wondering how Sparky's decision to wear a Reds' cap on a plaque made in 2000 could have been influenced by the Reds' decision to retire his number in 2005 and the Tigers' decision in 2011.


It's easy to blame Lawson, but his impressions were not out of line with the general publics' at the time.

It's a shameful chapter in reds history. Robinson unapologetically, got picked up by the law, carried a gun, married a white woman and held out for more money. Since he did play spectacular ball, all that might have been forgiven if Robinson had made nice with the media and front office, gone all "Ernie Banks who loves to play two" on them, but he didn't. He challenged them every step of the way.

For what it's worth, as a manager and executive, Robinson continues to be a challenging interview. As much of a thorn as he is in the side of baseball now....well, that's what Bill DeWitt had as an MVP in his clubhouse.

I honestly don't mean any of the above in an inflammatory fashion. Just making sure those who don't know the story understand. It wasn't just a matter of misidentifying talent in the trade. Robinson pretty much got run out of town.

If Robinson's picture had a reds cap on when he went into the hall, the gentlemen in question would have been justified in not showing up for his own induction. The Reds, no that's not right, Cincinnati didn't deserve Frank Robinson. .
Earl Lawson was the Reds' beat writer for the Post who used his column as a bully pulpit. Players had to please Lawson, or he would give them unfavorable reports. He didn't like Robinson, and he hated Vada Pinson.

dfs
07-18-2011, 05:15 PM
Earl Lawson was the Reds' beat writer for the Post who used his column as a bully pulpit. Players had to please Lawson, or he would give them unfavorable reports. He didn't like Robinson, and he hated Vada Pinson.

We are in agreement.

dfs
07-18-2011, 05:21 PM
Earl Lawson was the Reds' beat writer for the Post who used his column as a bully pulpit. Players had to please Lawson, or he would give them unfavorable reports. He didn't like Robinson, and he hated Vada Pinson.

We are in agreement.

westofyou
07-18-2011, 05:50 PM
Lawson was part of a new and aggressive breed of sportswriters who appeared in the 50's, very opinionated and willing to broach subjects that were not touched in the Jack Ryder/Tom Swope era of reporting this breed was also adapt at pointing out mistakes and cheer leaded less than others had before. The growth of tv and radio demanded that the press of the day try different approaches and Lawson was not afraid to take on players (decked by Johnny Temple) for what he deemed mistakes. Chances are the culture of the day led him to come down harder on the black players of the team than he should have, he was not a charming writer nor a particularly gifted one either. He however was the TSN stringer and had a name that was known around the country and that in the end was what he was really after.

As for the cap on Franks head, he started with the Reds, but he etched his name into history in Baltimore.

They get the cap.

The Reds get the trade memories.

Spitball
07-18-2011, 10:52 PM
Good post, WOY. The American League was way behind in the signing and employing of the Black and Latin players when Robinson went to the Orioles and the AL in 1966. They had a few stars but nothing like the NL stars of Mays, McCovey, Aaron, Gibson, Pinson, Allen, Clemente, Marichal, Cepeda, Wills, etc.

Having grown up in an AL town, I believe AL fans were eager to welcome their own Black superstar. Frank Robinson came to Baltimore at the right time in baseball history. It certainly helped a great deal that he won the triple crown, helped win the World Series, and played with evident fire and leadership. Most AL fans wished for their own Willie Mays or Hank Aaron and Baltimore got theirs in Frank Robinson.

If Robinson had played in today's era, an Earl Lawson would probably have been more politically correct in his comments and evaluation of Black players, but Robinson probably would have reached free agency during his peak years and would have signed with the Dodgers or Yankees before his MVP years.

Chip R
07-18-2011, 11:54 PM
It's easy to blame Lawson, but his impressions were not out of line with the general publics' at the time.

It's a shameful chapter in reds history. Robinson unapologetically, got picked up by the law, carried a gun, married a white woman and held out for more money. Since he did play spectacular ball, all that might have been forgiven if Robinson had made nice with the media and front office, gone all "Ernie Banks who loves to play two" on them, but he didn't. He challenged them every step of the way.

For what it's worth, as a manager and executive, Robinson continues to be a challenging interview. As much of a thorn as he is in the side of baseball now....well, that's what Bill DeWitt had as an MVP in his clubhouse.

I honestly don't mean any of the above in an inflammatory fashion. Just making sure those who don't know the story understand. It wasn't just a matter of misidentifying talent in the trade. Robinson pretty much got run out of town.

If Robinson's picture had a reds cap on when he went into the hall, the gentlemen in question would have been justified in not showing up for his own induction. The Reds, no that's not right, Cincinnati didn't deserve Frank Robinson.

That's right. In Greg Rhodes' book "Redleg Journal," he said at the time, the trade "...received almost no negative fan reaction when it was first announced. Cincinnati's first black star, Robinson never seemed to do enough (to) please Reds fans no matter how well he performed. During the 1965 season, letters to the editor in newspapers throughout Reds country demanded that he be traded and in August, Robinson was booed so excessively at Crosley Field that Dave Sisler made a public appeal for the fans to lay off the star outfielder."

I can believe a writer like Lawson - in those pre-cable, pre-internet days - having a lot of sway with Reds fans and maybe he had a vendetta (perhaps that's too strong of a word) against Robby and the fans were not displeased for reasons dfs stated in his second paragraph and possibly others. Of course in Lawson's book he claims he bailed Robby out of jail the night he was arrested. He also wrote that he believed that Robby's hard feelings toward the Reds came from them leaving him in jail overnight.

I can't say what was written and said about Robby back then but we know that the media - especially those who have been around a long time - has the ability to sway fans towards their point of view. They aren't lying straight out but stretching the facts towards their point of view. We have seen that on RedsZone notably with Adam Dunn.

The trade wasn't all about the Reds/fans/media hating Robby. The Reds needed pitching back then and Deron Johnson drove in 130 runs in 65. Of course since the players that the Reds got for Robby didn't do well, the trade was an epic fail on the part of DeWitt and the Reds.

Spitball
07-19-2011, 12:47 AM
From an article by Ralph Moses:


In his autobiography, Extra Innings, Frank Robinson remembered, "some writers were reporting that Vada Pinson and I formed a 'Negro clique...that is gnawing at the morale of the club.'...What nonsense. Certainly Vada and I had been virtually inseparable for five years, but often duos and trios on the team palled around together, and they weren't called clique members."

In 1963, when Pete Rose was a cocky rookie taking the job of popular second baseman Don Blasingame, Robinson and Pinson welcomed him to the Reds when no one else would. Robinson recalled, "I saw that Pete Rose was being ostracized by most of my teammates...I asked Pete one night if he would like to join Vada and me for dinner. No other players warmed to Pete all season, so Vada and I became his friends and showed him the ropes around the league."

Big Klu
07-19-2011, 01:25 AM
From an article by Ralph Moses:

I remember reading in Pete's first book (I can't remember the title) that Pete said that Robinson and Pinson took him in during his rookie year when nobody else would have much to do with him.

Why wouldn't Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson have had a close relationship? Not only were they the first two African-American stars in club history during a time of civil unrest, but they had gone to high school together as well. They had known each other for years.

westofyou
07-19-2011, 01:36 AM
I remember reading in Pete's first book (I can't remember the title) that Pete said that Robinson and Pinson took him in during his rookie year when nobody else would have much to do with him.

Why wouldn't Frank Robinson and Vada Pinson have had a close relationship? Not only were they the first two African-American stars in club history during a time of civil unrest, but they had gone to high school together as well. They had known each other for years.

Pete was told by the brass to put his cap on like a white guy (back first) and not a black guy, (front first) since Pete was taking popular Don Blasingame's job he wasn't loved by the older guard, Robby and Pinson actually were kind to him.

Spitball
07-19-2011, 10:55 AM
I can't find it now, but there is a Billy McCool story out there (I believe it was a "Where Are They Now?" story) in which he tells about his rookie year when Robinson and Pinson were especially nice to him. I believe they invited him to have hamburgers with them, and years later he was still very touched by their kindness.