Hey baseball fans!
It is the 55th anniversary of Frank Robinson being named NL MVP for the Cincinnati Reds during the 1961 MLB season. Robinson's '61 campaign was definitely deserving of the award, as he batted .323 with 37 home runs and 124 runs batted in. His monstrous .611 slugging percentage led the league that year and his efforts helped the Reds reach their first World Series since 1940, where they sadly lost to the Yankees. The man they called "The Judge" was in the middle of an unbelievable career and was one of the young stars of baseball. However, after the 1965 season, Reds owner Bill DeWitt decided to trade Robinson from Cinci to the Baltimore Orioles because he thought that the slugging Texas native was "not a young 30." This trade has come to be known as one of the most lopsided trades in MLB history and one of the reasons for that is what Robinson did the season directly after he was sent to Charm City.
I'm going to be very blunt about this: he won the Triple Crown. Yeah, that's right; in Frank Robinson's first season after he was sent to the O's, he batted .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs, which all led the league, giving him the Triple Crown. And just to rub it in DeWitt's face, Robinson also led the league in runs scored (122), on-base percentage (.410), slugging percentage (.637), and total bases (367). And to rub it in DeWitt's face even more, Robinson's explosive, AL MVP-winning campaign helped the Orioles win the franchise's first World Series with a sweep of the Dodgers in the 1966 Fall Classic. Wow, for an old guy, he sure could swing the bat well.
With the 1966 AL MVP under his belt, Frank Robinson became the only player in baseball history to win the MVP for teams in both leagues. Really, what an ignorant move by the Reds' front office to trade a man who would go on to finish his career with 586 home runs, tenth-most all time. And no wonder that Frank chose to wear an O's cap on his Hall of Fame plaque! Thanks for reading this post and I hope you enjoyed it. Check back soon for more of "all the buzz on what wuzz."