Aaron Robinson, Last Yankees Starting Catcher Before Yogi Berra

I found a profile of Robinson in the January 7, 1948 issue of the Sporting News, whose Furman Bisher caught up with Robinson at his farm in rural South Carolina. See the photo below; here is part of Bisher’s story:

“There was talk last summer that Robinson had put himself in the doghouse because of a tendency to sulk when Yogi Berra, a rookie rated a good hitting prospect, was given every consideration. That was a state of affairs that might have irked a more complacent citizen than Robinson, who no doubt was unable to forget that only a year earlier he had been acclaimed by many as the finest young catcher in the majors.”

After the World Series with Brooklyn, Robinson had a West Coast barnstorming trip with Bobo Newsom fall through, his father-in-law, in North Carolina, suffer a critical illness, the collapse of his car’s rear end upon arrival in the Carolinas, and the collapse of his kitchen stove. Bisher of the Sporting News met with Robinson around the turn of the year in the countryside outside Lancaster, South Carolina, where his family was living in an old farmhouse with no telephone. They were “building a new five-room home across the highway behind the schoolhouse Aaron attended as a youngster.” Bisher added that Robinson was “quite a fancier” of gamecocks, breeding and training them at his farm.

Robinson was said to be hoping for better things in 1948; a sidebar column by Dan Daniel touted his virtues over “usurper” Berra, especially Robinson’s performance in the World Series after Berra and Sherman Lollar allowed many Dodger steals in the first four games. “All of us in the press box like Robinson, and we hope that he will stay with the club for many years to come,” Daniel concluded.

Robinson did not stay with the Yankees; instead, Gus Niarhos and Berra were the two main Yankee catchers in 1948. He eventually died in Lancaster, S.C., in 1966. You can read more about him in Robinson’s SABR bio: http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/1d8f2b79.

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Published in: Uncategorized on December 22, 2015 at 12:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

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