Born: June 29, 1863|
Died: August 8, 1934 (aged 71)|
|April 19, 1886 for the Philadelphia Athletics|
Last MLB appearance
|September 29, 1902 for the Baltimore Orioles|
|Runs batted in||722|
Career highlights and awards
Wilbert Robinson (June 29, 1863 – August 8, 1934), nicknamed "Uncle Robbie", was an American catcher, coach and manager in Major League Baseball. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.
Born in Bolton, Massachusetts, Robinson was a catcher in the minor New England League in 1885 and made it to the major leagues in 1886 with the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association, where he remained until 1890. He lasted in the majors until
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Over the course of his career, Robinson played 1,316 games as a catcher, which prepared him for his second baseball career as a manager. The star catcher of the Orioles dynasty which won three straight titles from 1894 to 1896, he compiled a career batting average of .273, with a peak of .353 in the heavy-hitting season of 1894. Durable behind the plate, he caught a triple-header in 1896, followed by a double-header the following day. He also was the first catcher to play directly behind the batter at all times, as the previous practice had been to play farther back when there were fewer than two strikes. A highlight of his career was a seven-hit game June 10, 1892, still the major league record (Rennie Stennett tied it in
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Robinson and McGraw joined as business partners in the Baltimore Orioles, a team that would debut in the new American League in 1901. McGraw served as player-manager of the AL Orioles in 1901 and the beginning of the 1902 season, at which point he departed to the New York Giants. Robinson succeeded McGraw as manager of the Orioles.
After the season, McGraw enticed Robinson to be his pitching coach from 1903 to 1913, during which time the Giants won five NL pennants.
Robinson would not don the manager's cap again in the majors until
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In his 18 years at the helm of the Brooks, Robinson compiled a record of 1375–1341, including National League championships in
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Robinson was highly regarded for his ability to draw outstanding performances from his pitching staffs, a result of his many years as a catcher. Among the pitchers he guided to success were Joe McGinnity with both Orioles teams and the Giants, Rube Marquard with the Giants, and Dazzy Vance and Burleigh Grimes with the Dodgers. Another pitcher who would later recall Robinson's excellent advice, although they never played together during a regular season, was John Tener, who in the 1910s served simultaneously as NL president and Governor of Pennsylvania.
Robinson and aviator Ruth Law
On March 13,
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Robinson was manager when Al Lopez started out as a catcher in the majors. Robinson watched Lopez' style and finally hollered, "Tell that punk he got two hands to catch with! Never mind the Fancy Dan stuff." But Lopez went on to eventually surpass Robinson's record of games behind the plate.
After his retirement from managing, Robinson became the president of the Atlanta Crackers minor league team. He died in Atlanta, Georgia at 71 years of age following a brain hemorrhage, and was buried in the New Cathedral Cemetery in Baltimore.
Robinson's brother, Fred Robinson, also played briefly in the majors, appearing in 3 games for the
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career stolen bases
- List of Major League Baseball RBI Records
- List of Major League Baseball player–managers
- List of Major League Baseball hitters with six hits in one game
- Wilbert Robinson at the Baseball Hall of Fame
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- The Deadball Era
- Ruth Law at Daytona Beach 1913-1916
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