Ruth Robinson’s tenth and last child, Frank Robinson Jr., was born in August 31, 1935 after her marriage to her third husband, Frank Robinson. Unfortunately, her third marriage did not work out either and the mother moved to California from Texas with Robinson Jr. and his two half-brothers.
Growing up in a poor, ethnically diverse neighborhood, Robinson showed athletic capabilities from a young age, excelling in baseball specifically. At only 15 years of age, Robinson was a right-handed hitting and throwing out-fielder on Coach George Powley’s 1950 American Legion team. He later joined the baseball program at McClymonds High School.
Graduating in 1953, Robinson proceeded to sign a contract with the Cincinnati Reds and batted .348 as an outfielder at the Pioneer League in Utah. The following year, after eight games with the Tulsa Team of the Texas League, the player joined the Columbus team of the South Atlantic League, batting .336 with 25 homers and 110 runs batted in. Robinson continued to train with the Cincinnati Reds in 1955 but had to be reassigned to the Columbus team due to an arm injury.
Upon recovery, Frank Robinson rejoined the Cincinnati Reds in the spring of 1956 and made an impactful comeback with a debut of .290, 38 homers and a league-leading 122 runs. This won him the National League Rookie-of-the-Year honors.
Over the next nine seasons, the star topped the .300 mark five times, struck 25 or more homers eight times and scored 100 or more runs four times. Robinson’s determined and aggressive attitude on the field led him to be titled as a ‘vicious’ player and he endured frequent injuries during his career.
In 1961, Robinson joined the Reds once again to lead the team to their first National League pennant since 1940 and won the League’s Most Valuable Player award for batting .323 with 37 homers and 117 runs batted in. following the 1965 season, the team had to bid farewell to Robinson as disputes between the player and the team’s general manager led to the former’s transfer to the American