Eddie Robinson, oldest living player, dies

October 5th, 2021

Eddie Robinson, a 13-year Major League first baseman and member of the 1948 World Series champion club in Cleveland, passed away Monday at his ranch in Bastrop, Texas. Robinson was the oldest living Major League player at 100 years, 293 days old. That distinction now passes to George Elder, who is 100 years, 209 days old.

Robinson enjoyed a long and fruitful baseball career in several capacities. He earned four All-Star Game nods for three teams (Senators, White Sox, Athletics), made an impact in Cleveland’s 1948 World Series triumph over the Boston Braves -- batting .300 across six games -- and played for seven of the eight existing American League clubs during his career (the Red Sox being the exception). He then went on to further ventures as a Major League scout, farm director and executive, including as general manager of the Braves (1972-76) and Rangers (’76-82).

“The Texas Rangers are incredibly saddened with the passing of the legendary Eddie Robinson,” said the club in an official statement, “who spent nearly 70 years in professional baseball as an All-Star player and respected executive. He began a 13-year Major League career with the Cleveland Indians in 1942 and went on to serve as general manager of both the Atlanta Braves and Texas Rangers during an incredible career.

“In his later years, Mr. Robinson was a regular and welcome visitor at Rangers home games, and his unique ability to analyze and discuss the game, past and present, was truly amazing. The Rangers were honored to help Mr. Robinson celebrate his 100th birthday last December, and he made a final Spring Training visit to Arizona this past February. He was a great ambassador for baseball to the end.”

Robinson saw a lot during his time in baseball. He played against Jackie Robinson and alongside Larry Doby, the first black player to integrate the AL. He also played when Babe Ruth’s number was retired, was the Braves’ general manager when Henry Aaron broke Ruth’s career home run record, and he was in the stands in St. Louis when Mark McGwire broke the single-season home run record in 1998. The list of players drafted while he was in team front offices include Vida Blue, Reggie Jackson and Dale Murphy.

Robinson also remained active into his second century of life, starting a podcast after his 100th birthday.