CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians have confirmed former first player Eddie Robinson, who was a part of their 1948 World Series team and its last surviving member, has died. He was 100 years old.
"We are saddened to hear of the passing of Eddie Robinson," the club wrote on Twitter. "Our thoughts are with his friends and family."
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Robinson played for the Tribe in 1942 before enlisting in the United States Navy during World War II. He continued his baseball career with Cleveland after the war, playing from 1946-48. He was traded to the Washington Senators following the Tribe's World Series title run, but would eventually come back to Northeast Ohio for 19 more games in 1957 before retiring later that year.
During the Indians' championship season of 1948, Robinson was the starting first baseman, part of an infield that featured Hall of Famers Lou Boudreau and Joe Gordon as well as seven-time All-Star Ken Keltner. He batted .254 with 16 home runs and 83 RBIs during the regular season before hitting .300 in the World Series, driving in what turned out to be the game-winning run in the decisive Game 6 to help the Tribe beat the Boston Braves.
During a 13-year career, Robin batted .268 with 172 homers and 723 RBIs in 1,315 games as a first baseman with Cleveland (1942; 46-48; 57), Washington (1949-50), the Chicago White Sox (1950-52), Philadelphia Athletics (1953), New York Yankees (1954-56), Detroit Tigers (1957), and Baltimore Orioles (1957). He was a four-time American League All-Star, twice with Chicago and one each with Washington and Philly.
Following his retirement, Robinson served in various Major League Baseball front offices, most notably as the sole general manager of the Texas Rangers from 1978-82. The Rangers released their own statement paying tribute to Robinson, saying they were "incredibly saddened" to hear of his passing.
The Texas Rangers, managed by Robinson for several years, also issued a statement Tuesday evening, sending thoughts and prayer to Robinson's family and thanking him for his devotion to the job.
"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 team said of the Texas native. "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."
"Baseball is lucky to have had Eddie Robinson. A life well lived and a legend forever," the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association added.
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