Eddie Robinson is 96 years of age, but still vividly recalls the Cleveland Indians 1948 team which won the World Series that year. From his home in Texas, Robinson spoke in a telephone conversation with News 5.
"It was a very memorable year, and so many things happened that year," said Robinson who spoke of Cleveland's 1948 season. "We were up; we were down, but we prevailed," he said with more than a trace of pride in his voice. Robinson debuted with the Cleveland Indians in 1942. His career took him to seven teams in the American League. But he said it was the '48 series which stands out in his mind the most.
"We had good leadership in Boudreau, and Gordon, and Keltner," said Robinson. "They were our senior citizens on the team." Robinson used the phrase jokingly when referring to the three who were among the centerpieces of the Indians. Lou Boudreau, Joe Gordon, and Kenny Keltner were part of the infield which was shared with Robinson who played first base.
After the Indians had beaten the Boston Braves for the World Series, the Clevelanders got on a train and rode back to Cleveland. It was a raucous ride, recounted Robinson. "The champagne dripped from the ceiling," he said. The World Series win was the second and last one for Cleveland.
Looking at the 2016 Indians, Robinson said he had great admiration for manager Terry Francona. He said Francona had done a "wonderful" job with molding the Indians.
Robinson still follows baseball from his Texas home. Through his years in the game, he was a player, scout, coach, and front office executive in a career which spanned parts of five decades. He is the author of his autobiography, published in 2011, entitled "Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years in Baseball."
He fondly recalls the 1948 season where he batted .254, punched out 16 home runs and had 83 RBI.
As for the Cleveland Indians of 2016, he sees the team as a strong one with a good chance of winning the World Series battle against the Chicago Cubs. However, he is ever cautious. "Strange things can happen in a Series," he said.