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Nov. 1 Eddie Robinson pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. This is for a story on you being here.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Okay. Are you with a local paper?

Q. I'm with the Associated Press, so kind of all the papers.
The last member of the '48 Series team?

EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah.

Q. Good to see you. How was the trip up?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Oh, it was great. We had a nice easy flight. We got in yesterday.

Q. What's it like to see the Indians in the World Series with a chance to close it out?
EDDIE ROBINSON: I've been pulling for them all year. I was a little worried there, but [Terry] Francona, I think he did a great job. He should be Manager of the Year, I think.

Q. If he needs a pinch-hitter tonight, are you ready?
EDDIE ROBINSON: They'd rather have Tito than me, I think (laughter).

Q. Well, you came up with a couple of big hits in that '48 Series. What are your recollections of that?
EDDIE ROBINSON: I remember. Yeah, I drove in the winning run. It was a great day. We didn't celebrate like they do today. After we won, we went in and changed and got on a train. But once we got on the train, we had a dining car and a club car. That's when the party started.

Q. Little bit of fun there, huh?
EDDIE ROBINSON: And the next day, the champagne was dripping from the ceiling. I think Bill Veeck, that cost him a few thousand dollars to put those cars back in shape.

Q. Probably worth every penny, though.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah. Then of course, we arrived here the next morning, and they had a parade arranged. From the train station we went to Euclid Avenue, and every player got in a convertible, and we went down Euclid and it was marvelous. Looked like everybody in Cleveland had turned out to celebrate our championship.

Q. Yeah, those were clearly the glory days for this town?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, it's been so darn long, you know? I thought Hargrove was going to win a World Series, but it didn't turn out that way. I had him as a player down in Texas when I was down there.

Q. That's right, okay. So you keep an eye on all things Cleveland from down in Texas?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Well, I do. Yes, I'm a real Texas Ranger fan. I'm sorry that the Rangers didn't make it. We all thought that we would be in the World Series this year. We had the team to do it, but our pitching went a little sour.

Q. When you watch the Indians this year, what do you like about this team? And does it remind you of that '48 team at all?
EDDIE ROBINSON: No, no resemblance. We had great pitching, like this team. But this team is comprised of a bunch of players that they're kind of no-name players.

Q. You had some Hall of Famers, didn't you, on that '48 team?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, we had five. I went to see Cleveland play when they came to Texas this year, and I told my wife Betty, I said, "They have a good team, but I never heard of any anybody." Napoli was a guy I heard of.

Q. Because he was down in Texas?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, and I'd been a Napoli fan for a long time. Good player. Good teammate.

Q. You're still in great shape.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, yeah.

Q. What's the secret?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Good wife that takes care of me.

Q. That's the key to anybody, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, it helps. It sure does.

Q. When you're watching the game tonight, what do you focus on? I know you've been involved in baseball for decades.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, and it's going to be hard for me to watch a game from here because you really can't -- I may come in here and watch it on television, because I'm used to sitting right back of home plate, and that's where I like to view a game from. Even in Texas, when I go to a game, I sit right where the scouts sit. It's going to be a little tough for me tonight, but I'll probably stay up here.

Q. Now through the years when Mr. Feller was obviously still around a few years ago, did you stay in touch with those guys?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Bob Lemon and Al Rosen, we stayed in touch and Dale Mitchell. I didn't see Doby very much. But we tried to. You know, after while it kind of falls apart. But Lemon, that year, Lemon pitched 20 complete games. Do you believe that? 20.

Q. Unheard of now.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, that's unheard of.

Q. Most teams don't have that many in a season, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: And if you need a relief pitcher, they may put Lemon into relief. It was that kind of a -- it's so different now.

Q. You have a lot of specialization now. Do you like the game now? Do you think the game is healthy?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Oh, it's exciting. A lot of home runs. They build these parks with short fences. I would have liked that if I was still playing.

I think the game is exciting. With the bigger gloves they make spectacular catches. We played with smaller gloves, and couldn't afford to dive for those balls. They had to knock them down and make sure they didn't go for extra bases.

It's a different game, but it's still an exciting game.

Q. These guys have a lot of perks that you didn't have. You were taking trains all over the place. It was tough, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Well, the biggest perks are money (laughter).

Q. It's not too bad, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: That's the biggest perk. But, yeah, they fly from place to place, and we took -- trains were good though. You know, you talk about camaraderie, you really got it on a train. In the dining car, you all ate together and it was good.

Q. Could you imagine the contracts that Bob Feller and Bob Lemon would get now?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Oh, I think about Eddie Robinson and what he could have gotten (laughter).

Q. There you go. Well, it was nice visiting with you.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Thank you. It's been a good interview.

Q. This is for a story on you being here.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Okay. Are you with a local paper?

Q. I'm with the Associated Press, so kind of all the papers.
The last member of the '48 Series team?

EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah.

Q. Good to see you. How was the trip up?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Oh, it was great. We had a nice easy flight. We got in yesterday.

Q. What's it like to see the Indians in the World Series with a chance to close it out?
EDDIE ROBINSON: I've been pulling for them all year. I was a little worried there, but [Terry] Francona, I think he did a great job. He should be Manager of the Year, I think.

Q. If he needs a pinch-hitter tonight, are you ready?
EDDIE ROBINSON: They'd rather have Tito than me, I think (laughter).

Q. Well, you came up with a couple of big hits in that '48 Series. What are your recollections of that?
EDDIE ROBINSON: I remember. Yeah, I drove in the winning run. It was a great day. We didn't celebrate like they do today. After we won, we went in and changed and got on a train. But once we got on the train, we had a dining car and a club car. That's when the party started.

Q. Little bit of fun there, huh?
EDDIE ROBINSON: And the next day, the champagne was dripping from the ceiling. I think Bill Veeck, that cost him a few thousand dollars to put those cars back in shape.

Q. Probably worth every penny, though.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah. Then of course, we arrived here the next morning, and they had a parade arranged. From the train station we went to Euclid Avenue, and every player got in a convertible, and we went down Euclid and it was marvelous. Looked like everybody in Cleveland had turned out to celebrate our championship.

Q. Yeah, those were clearly the glory days for this town?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, it's been so darn long, you know? I thought Hargrove was going to win a World Series, but it didn't turn out that way. I had him as a player down in Texas when I was down there.

Q. That's right, okay. So you keep an eye on all things Cleveland from down in Texas?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Well, I do. Yes, I'm a real Texas Ranger fan. I'm sorry that the Rangers didn't make it. We all thought that we would be in the World Series this year. We had the team to do it, but our pitching went a little sour.

Q. When you watch the Indians this year, what do you like about this team? And does it remind you of that '48 team at all?
EDDIE ROBINSON: No, no resemblance. We had great pitching, like this team. But this team is comprised of a bunch of players that they're kind of no-name players.

Q. You had some Hall of Famers, didn't you, on that '48 team?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, we had five. I went to see Cleveland play when they came to Texas this year, and I told my wife Betty, I said, "They have a good team, but I never heard of any anybody." Napoli was a guy I heard of.

Q. Because he was down in Texas?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, and I'd been a Napoli fan for a long time. Good player. Good teammate.

Q. You're still in great shape.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, yeah.

Q. What's the secret?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Good wife that takes care of me.

Q. That's the key to anybody, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, it helps. It sure does.

Q. When you're watching the game tonight, what do you focus on? I know you've been involved in baseball for decades.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, and it's going to be hard for me to watch a game from here because you really can't -- I may come in here and watch it on television, because I'm used to sitting right back of home plate, and that's where I like to view a game from. Even in Texas, when I go to a game, I sit right where the scouts sit. It's going to be a little tough for me tonight, but I'll probably stay up here.

Q. Now through the years when Mr. Feller was obviously still around a few years ago, did you stay in touch with those guys?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Bob Lemon and Al Rosen, we stayed in touch and Dale Mitchell. I didn't see Doby very much. But we tried to. You know, after while it kind of falls apart. But Lemon, that year, Lemon pitched 20 complete games. Do you believe that? 20.

Q. Unheard of now.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Yeah, that's unheard of.

Q. Most teams don't have that many in a season, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: And if you need a relief pitcher, they may put Lemon into relief. It was that kind of a -- it's so different now.

Q. You have a lot of specialization now. Do you like the game now? Do you think the game is healthy?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Oh, it's exciting. A lot of home runs. They build these parks with short fences. I would have liked that if I was still playing.

I think the game is exciting. With the bigger gloves they make spectacular catches. We played with smaller gloves, and couldn't afford to dive for those balls. They had to knock them down and make sure they didn't go for extra bases.

It's a different game, but it's still an exciting game.

Q. These guys have a lot of perks that you didn't have. You were taking trains all over the place. It was tough, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Well, the biggest perks are money (laughter).

Q. It's not too bad, right?
EDDIE ROBINSON: That's the biggest perk. But, yeah, they fly from place to place, and we took -- trains were good though. You know, you talk about camaraderie, you really got it on a train. In the dining car, you all ate together and it was good.

Q. Could you imagine the contracts that Bob Feller and Bob Lemon would get now?
EDDIE ROBINSON: Oh, I think about Eddie Robinson and what he could have gotten (laughter).

Q. There you go. Well, it was nice visiting with you.
EDDIE ROBINSON: Thank you. It's been a good interview.