Former Reds Friday – Frank Robinson 1968 Topps
A year after the Cincinnati Reds deemed Frank Robinson to be “old” all he did was go out and win the Triple Crown. After being dealt in December 1965 for pitcher Jack Baldschun, Milt Pappas and outfielder Dick Simpson the former Red went on tear up the American League.
He lead the junior circuit with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs and 122 runs batted in on his way to his second mvp award. In the process, Robby became the first player in major league history to win the mvp award in both leagues. He won the National League’s top award in 1961 during the Reds’ pennant winning season.
Early in his stay in Baltimore, Robinson exerted his power at the plate, On May 8, 1966, Robinson became the only player ever to hit a home run completely out of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium.
Robinson’s second mvp season had a much happier ending than the first time he won the award. The Reds fell to the New York Yankees in the 1961 World Series in five games. In that series, Robinson set a World Series record by being hit by a pitch twice in one game.
During the 1966 series, Robinson literally carried Baltimore to the win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pounded two homers off of Don Drysdale in game one to lead the Orioles to a 5-2 win. Robinson then scored the only run in the decisive game four to capture the title.
Four years later Robinson got his ultimate revenge on the Reds. Along with Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer, the Orioles defeated the early version of the Big Red Machine in five games.
Robinson helped the Orioles the reach another world series the next season in 1971. Following the Orioles seven game series loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Robinson has traded to the Dodgers. He went on to finish his career following brief stints with the California Angels and the Cleveland Indians.
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.