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Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas From Drew - Frank Robinson Signed Baseball

My very good friend Drew really knocked it out of the park this year (pun intended).  Last year, he sent me a really cool package that included a really sweet Jim Palmer UD premier card, a Topps Tribute Eddie Murray relic and he also beat up on my 1971 Topps want list.  You can read all about it here.
Drew hooked me up with my 81st Hall of Fame signed baseball, former Oriole Frank Robinson.  I have been trying to get Frank for a long time now and it just hadn't worked out.  I intended to meet him at the National in August, I even bought a ticket, but he called out sick.  Then, on the last day of the show, I went to buy a signed ball of his, but that vendor had already packed it up and had made enough money already that they didn't want to sell it to me...
So, here it is, a sweet, PSA authenticated, HOF '82 inscribed Frank Robinson baseball.  The ball is really awesome.  It is so much better than the one I was looking at during the National.  Drew really knows me well.  He can knock out a Hall of Famer that I need and make it a really great ball as well.  As he should, we have been talking trades since 2009 and have gotten really close as friends in the process.  We met up during my vacation in 2011 for a Hudson Valley Renegades game.  His dad and sister came with us (along with my cousin Andreas) and I took Drew, his sister and my cousin down to the fence to teach some IP autographing.  We had a really good time at that game.  I was really happy to be able to meet up and spend some time with such a good guy and his awesome family.  His parents really did a fine job because he is definitely a great person.  I consider myself very lucky that he chooses to call me 'friend.'

Frank Robinson (b. 1935) played in the majors from 1956 to 1976 for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians.  He had 2,943 career hits, 586 home runs and a .294 career batting average.  He was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1956.  He was the NL MVP in 1961 and won the AL MVP in 1966 (the year in which he won the Triple Crown).  He won the World Series with the Orioles in 1966 and 1970.

Robinson became the first African-American manager in MLB when he took the helm of the Cleveland Indians in 1975.  He went on to manage the Indians, Giants, Orioles and Expos/Nationals.  He was the first manager for the Washington Nationals.  His career managerial line was 1,065-1,176 (.475 winning percentage).

Robinson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982 when he was named on 89.2% of the ballot (you mean to tell me that there were writers who didn't vote for him?).  It was his first time on the ballot.

So, yeah, I suppose I don't have to tell you that I am really excited about this baseball.  Drew, you did an amazing job this year and I sincerely appreciate it.  You're a heck of a nice guy and I'm glad we could do this.  Thanks again and to all, merry Christmas!
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