I was a Cincinnati Reds fan during the time I was growing up, and Frank Robinson was one of my favorite players. When I heard that the Reds had traded him to the Orioles for Milt Pappas, I was very upset.
But it got worse. Pappas didn’t exactly set the league on fire. He won 12 and lost 11 as the Reds fell from 89 wins in ’65 down to 7th place in ’66. Meanwhile, Frank was winning the Triple Crown at Baltimore. But wait, it gets even worser.
Four years later, Pappas was long gone from the Big Red Machine. But big Frank was still slugging his way into the Hall Of Fame, and the Reds faced the Orioles in the World Series. In that series, Frank scored 5 times in 5 games, slammed a pair of homers, and the Orioles crushed the Reds 4 games to 1. Ouch.
I printed this card in 2014 after reading an article about how Frank nearly drowned in a swimming pool at a team gathering near the end of the 1966 season. Someone playfully pushed him in, and he couldn’t swim. Rookie Davey Johnson and catcher Andy Etchebarren jumped in and saved him.
Robinson was an all-around athlete. If he had decided to play pro football or basketball, it is likely he would have become a star player in either sport.