Perhaps it isn’t the singular event the baseball world has been waiting for, but nonetheless it’s good news for those with an interest in the history of the sport: Eddie Robinson has published his autobiography. Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years in Baseball is a good read.
Robinson wasn’t a Hall of Fame-quality player, nor was his long post-playing career in the front offices of various organizations one of the greatest, but in both phases Robinson was quite good. And he was extremely well-traveled, playing for the Indians, Senators, White Sox, Athletics, Yankees, Athletics (again), Tigers, Indians (again), and Orioles, and then working in coaching and multiple executive capacities for the Orioles, Colt .45s, Athletics, Braves, Rangers, and Yankees, including stints as the General Manager in Atlanta and Texas. If one is inclined to think that on such a long and winding road Robinson met a lot of interesting people and has a lot of interesting stories to tell, this book amply proves one correct.
Serious literature this ain’t. As put down in straightforward fashion by co-author C. Paul Rogers III, the book is a breezy, enjoyable sequence of anecdotes and observations. The reader is given the sense of sitting back in a comfortable chair, with a cool refreshing beverage at hand (in the clubhouse following a leisurely round of golf, say), and listening to the affable, gregarious Robinson reminisce. He has terrific tales, and he relates them entertainingly.
Probably the most intriguing stories are those dealing with the background of the many trades, signings, and other transactions swung by Robinson and his cronies. A lot of it would no doubt be too arcane for the casual fan, but then, no casual fan is going to be reading the autobiography of Eddie Robinson anyway. But for the sort of fan who can’t get enough of the “behind the scenes” dope on how things really work in major league front offices, it’s a treasure trove.