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Frazier Robinson

“Cool Papa Bell could just run, that's all. He would telegraph when he was gonna [steal]. I knew he was going, and you still couldn't shoot him out. Couldn't shoot him out with a rifle, and he done telegraphed it! The man was so fast it didn't mater.”
--Frazier Robinson, quoted from "Catching Dreams" by Frazier Robinson and Paul Bauer


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Negro Leaguer of the Month

May, 2009

Frazier "Slow" Robinson
Born: May 30, 1916 in Birmingham, AL
Died: 1997
Ht: 5'-11”, Wt: 180
Position: C
Years Played: 1939-1952
Teams: Abilene Eagles, San Angleo Sheepherders, Odessa, Satchel Paige All-Stars, Kansas City Monarchs, New York Black Yankees, Baltimore Elite Giants, Winnipeg Buffaloes

Yes, he was slow, but Frazier Robinson was a front-line catcher with some fine teams in the 1940s. Actually, Robinson was slow afoot, like most catchers, but got his nickname from his slow southern drawl while talking.

Robinson moved to Oklahoma as a child, and his first team of note was the Abilene Eagles of the Texas-Oklahoma League. The Eagles boasted young players Jack Matchett and Bonnie Sorrell, both of whom would have their greatest fame with the Kansas City Monarchs, and Norman Robinson, Frazier's talented little brother who would also have a fine Negro League career.

After a season with the Satchel Paige All-Stars, and a few with the Kansas City Monarchs, Robinson stuck for several years with the Baltimore Elite Giants, the team he is most associated with.

Robinson was considered a fine receiver, and a decent hitter, who was strong enough to blast the occasional tape-measure homer. Robinson was also known as a family man, totally devoted to his wife Winnie, and a fine singer, joining Satchel, pitcher Johnny Markham and brother Norman in a great quartet on bus rides with the Monarchs.

In 1950, Robinson went north to play with the Winnipeg Buffaloes of the Manitoba-Dakota League, where he batted .278, with 19 RBIs in 79 at bats and helped the Buffs win the league championship. In 1951, Robinson batted .318, with 1 homer and 37 RBIs in 223 at bats, and in 1952 Robinson was traded to the Brandon Grays where he batted .253, with 13 RBIs in 23 games; that same year, Frazier's brother Norman batted .276 with 9 doubles, 3 triples and 2 homers in 196 at bats. In 1953, Norman batted .325 with the Carman Cardinals, the fifth highest average in the league.

Robinson retired from baseball, moved to North Carolina, and passed away in 1997.

*Some information from "Catching Dreams" by Frazier Robinson and "The ManDak League" by Barry Swanton.

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