Classic card of the week

Don Robinson, 1987 Donruss

Don Robinson looks like a happy guy. He engineers the “P” train, and also plays for the Pirates. He probably has many career highlights to be proud of. Let us discover them.

Also, let us remember that a highlight is, ideally, and by definition, something that is good.


Sidelined by a knee injury part of last year,

First highlight: bum knee. I would find it immensely enjoyable to watch a highlight reel of baseball players with bum knees, just sort of sitting around and doing nothing. Because their knees hurt. This, for me, would = highlight.

but wound up 1st on Pirates in saves

That is sort of highlighty. Considering that Robinson led the Pirates in saves in 1986 with 14, which is -- and I realize saves are stupid -- what Mariano Rivera -- and I realize he is the extreme -- notches in a month and a half, I think the implication here is, had Don Robinson not boasted a faulty knee, just imagine what he could have accomplished. (I am imagining along the lines of like 21 saves. Or a million.) So overall, the first highlight of Don Robinson’s career presents the potential for something greater, which is not really a highlight in itself. And so for the purposes of this post we will ignore the saves and file only the knee injury under “highlight.” Next highlight, please:

…Bothered by tendinitis in his shoulder in ’81 and ‘83

Second highlight: shoulder tendinitis. I should also mention that there is nothing more to add here -– that is the highlight in its entirety. It doesn’t finish: “but nevertheless went on to the win the Cy Young Award both seasons.” It is only the shoulder tendinitis that is the highlight. Shoulder tendinitis is good. Shoulder tendinitis is something to be envied. I envy the shoulder tendinitis that Don Robinson experienced during the years of 1981 and 1983. If my blogging career ends without a bout of shoulder tendinitis, I will be disappointed.

Let’s move on to final listed highlight:

Had .261 lifetime batting average going into last year and toyed with idea of switching to OF.

I am aware that .261 is a very good batting average for a pitcher, and Robinson’s offensive efficiency is well documented. But mentioning that Robinson considered switching positions sort of refutes the aforementioned pitching highlights in its insinuation that even Robinson himself debated whether or not he’d be better served as a position player, no? Whatever. Quick recap of Don Robinson’s career highlights:

-Bum knee
-Should tendinitis
-Considered switching positions due in some part to mediocrity of his pitching ability

Amazingly and astoundingly, Don Robinson’s Wikipedia page has more to add in the realm of Don Robinson highlights:


On April 18, 1987, Mike Schmidt hit his 500th career home run off Robinson, a three-run shot to give the Phillies an 8-6 win over the Pirates.

I am beginning to wonder if it is me that has been misinformed about what a highlight is supposed to be. Because I would file this one under “Mike Schmidt highlights.” Although, considering the silly dance that he performed after hitting the home run (cannot find the video for the life of me), possibly this is a Don Robinson highlight -- albeit one that literally lost his team the game -- in that he did not look silly as a result, to my knowledge. Maybe Don Robinson has another highlight that resulted in his team losing the game:

On August 15, 1990, Robinson lost the first ever no-hitter at Veteran’s Stadium to the Phillies’ Terry Mulholland 6-0.

Highlight! More:

He was scheduled to pitch Game 3 of the World Series against the Oakland A’s. The game was postponed for ten days after the Loma Prieta earthquake struck Northern California. He wound up starting Game 4.

I am unsure if we’ve been able to differentiate here between “highlight” and “bad thing that happened.” It’s also uncertain -– considering his string of highlights -- whether or not Don Robinson’s mere presence actually induced the ’89 earthquake. Nevertheless, Wiki is indeed correct that Robinson wound up starting Game 4. His line:

Robinson L (0-1) 1.2 IP 4 H 4 R 4 ER 1 BB 0 K

Final recap of Don Robinson highlights:

-Bum knee
-Should tendinitis
-Considered switching positions due in some part to mediocrity of his pitching ability
-Gave up milestone home run, lost game (didn’t dance, though)
-Lost game
-Was around during an earthquake, then lost game

But hey -- if it weren’t for the injuries, losing, and natural disasters, just imagine how easily Don Robinson's career could have taken a turn for the worse. Whew.

Did you know?
The outtakes from the "Bum Knee Highlight Video," in which the players forget their knees hurt and subsequently fall down trying to do things, features the theme music from Benny Hill.


Bo said…
Did you know that there is no P train in the NYC subway system? The reason is that they didn't want people to say that to get to such-and-such a place they would have to "take a P".
Joe S. said…
A million saves. Oh, what could have been...