Known as Uncle Robbie, Wilbert Robinson debuted on April 19, 1886 as a catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics and played for 17 years, and unusually long time for that era. Among Robinson’ highlights were getting 7 hits in one game, still tied with Rennie Stennett (in 1975) for the highest amount of hits in a 9 inning game. He drove in 11 RBI in another game, another record that was surpassed by Jim Bottomley with 12 in 1922 and again in the 1990s by Mark Whitten. He was considered a clutch hitter, batting .353 one season and finishing his career with a .273 lifetime average, which was high for a catcher at that time. He was a player manager for a few years and his overall managing record for 19 seasons was 1399–1398. He was a baseball lifer who eventually was voted into the baseball Hall of Fame as one of ten players selected in 1945 by the Old Timers Committee.
July 8, 2011