Happy Birthday, Frank Robinson!

Today, August 31, is Hall of Famer Frank Robinson’s birthday. He is 75 years old. I met him two years ago at the baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, and he was gracious and kind.

He was with baseball commentator Ed Randall, who said, “See Frank, someone does remember you!” And Robby laughed.

The Judge, as he was sometimes known, was one of the most underrated ball players of his generation. And it is tough to be underrated when you are  Hall of Famer! He played the game hard all the time and was one of the fiercest players on the diamond.

Robinson is one of my favorite all time players, and not just the way he played the game.

We share the same birthday.

But Robinson is not the only Hall of Famer born on this day. Eddie Plank, a left-handed pitcher for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s team in the first two decades of the 20th Century was also born on August 31st. Plank won 326 games over 17 season with 2.35 career ERA.

Five times he threw over 300 innings, with a high of 357 IP in 1904 when he won 26 games.

Maybe we can get another HOFer born on this date as Tim (Rock) Raines was born today, too.  Rock received 30.4% of the ballots this year, his third on the ballot.  He is currently the manager of the Newark Bears in the independent Atlantic League.

Other well-know ballplayer born on August 31st include Tracy Stallard (Gave up Roger Maris’ 61st HR), Claudell Washington, Tom Candiotti, Von Hayes, Hideo Nomo and Ramon Ramirez.

These are good baseball players, but none were better than Frank Robinson.

Happy Birthday, Frank!

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