Thursday, July 9, 2009

1976 Topps #137 - Bill Robinson

  • Bill Robinson played for four teams from 1966-1982. He started in 1961 at Class D Wellsville in the Milwaukee Braves organization. Bill remained in the minors through the 1966 season. The Braves brought him up for six games at the end of the 1966 season. After the season Robinson was traded to the New York Yankees as part of a deal that sent Clete Boyer to the Braves.
  • Robinson came to the Yankees as a highly-touted (even hyped) prospect, but he didn't really pan out in New York. In 1967 he batted .196 with 7 homers in 116 games. Bill's best season with the Yankees was 1968 when he batted .240 with 6 homers in 107 games. Robinson had another tough year in 1969 (.171 in 89 games).
  • Bill spent the 1970 season in the minors, then was traded to the Chicago White Sox. Robinson never played for the White Sox. Bill was assigned to the Sox' AAA club in 1971 and was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies after the season. Robinson started the 1972 season in AAA Eugene and was brought up to the Phillies in late June. Bill batted .239 in 82 games for the Phillies in 1972.
  • The 1973 season was a good one for Robinson. He was the Phillies' starting right fielder and batted .288 with 25 homers in 124 games. He didn't do as well in 1974 (.236 with 5 home runs in 100 games) and was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates after the season.
  • Bill spent the next 7 1/2 seasons with the Pirates and became part of the "Lumber Company." He batted .280 in 92 games in 1975, then had a nice season in 1976 (.303 with 21 homers in 122 games. Robinson followed up that season with a .304 average with 26 homers and 104 RBI in 1977. He was 11th in NL MVP balloting in '77.
  • Robinson slipped to .246 with 14 homers in 1978, then batted .264 with 24 homers for the 1979 World Champion Pirates. Bill was more of a bench player in 1980 (100 games but 272 at bats) but still batted .287. He didn't play much in 1981 (.216 in 88 at bats). Bill played in 31 games for the Pirates in 1982 and then was traded back to the Phillies for Wayne Nordhagen on June 15. Bill batted .261 in 35 games for the Phillies. After appearing in 10 games in 1983, Robinson was released by the Phillies.
  • He was the hitting coach for the New York Mets from 1984-1989. Bill was an analyst for ESPN's Baseball tonight in 1990 and 1991. He was later a batting coach in the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies systems and then was a coach for the Florida Marlins for four years, including the World Champion 2003 team.
  • Bill was found dead in a hotel room in Las Vegas on July 29, 2007. He was in his second year as the LA Dodgers' minor league hitting coordinator and was visiting the AAA club at the time. The cause of death still isn't known, but Robinson was suffering from diabetes.


  1. Bill was kind enough to sign my 1982 Phillies yearbook when I used to lean over the Phils' dugout at the Vet pre-game. I was sad to hear of his passing, and I can't believe it's been almost 2 years.

  2. The pose in this card is great, and all the colors seem to fit together just right. Terrific card.