William Robinson

Obituary of William Edward Robinson

William Edward Robinson, lovingly known as Eddie, passed away on October 4, 2021, at the age of 100. Eddie was born on December 15, 1920, in Paris, Texas to Hazel and William Robinson. He came from very humble beginnings being raised by his mother, so he learned the importance of working hard from a young age. During his childhood years, he discovered he had a natural talent for baseball, particularly hitting. He began his baseball career while in high school with the Paris Coca-Cola semi-pro baseball team.In 1939, Eddie signed a professional contract with the Valdosta Trojans based in Valdosta, Georgia. He was called up to play Major League Baseball in 1942 for the Cleveland Indians. Early in his career, he served four years in the military service with the Navy during WWII. Eddie was the last living member of the 1948 Cleveland Indians World Series team and held the title of the oldest living Major League Baseball player at the time of his death.During his career, Eddie batted .268 with 172 homers and 723 RBI in 1,315 games as a first baseman with Cleveland (1942; 46-48; 57), Washington (1949-50), Chicago White Sox (1950-52), Philadelphia A’s (1953), New York Yankees (1954-56), Detroit (1957), and Baltimore (1957). He played with 7 of the 8 A.L. clubs at the time, the exception being Boston. Eddie was also a four-time All-Star.While playing for the Yankees, Eddie met his wife Bette on a train going from Pittsburgh to New York. They married in 1955 at the 21 Club in New York City—the day after the 1955 World Series—and embarked on a round-the-world honeymoon which included the Yankees postseason exhibition tour of Japan. Eddie and Bette had a storybook marriage, and they relied on each other, often moving their family to different cities and states as part of Eddie’s baseball career. Eddie attributed much of his success to Bette and her ability to bloom where they were planted, and the devotion she gave to him and their family.After his playing career, Eddie worked as a coach, manager, and in several front offices before becoming the General Manager for the Atlanta Braves, and ultimately the General Manager for the Texas Rangers, which is what led him to Ft. Worth. He was in his 80s when he decided to end his career as an MLB Scout and focus on writing his autobiography, Lucky Me: My Sixty-Five Years in Baseball, which was published in 2011.Eddie had four sons—Robby, Marc, Paul, and Drew. He loved spending time with his family and watched it grow over the years to include six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. He was a champion storyteller and kept his family and others entertained for hours telling very detailed and sometimes very humorous stories, including many that involved famous baseball players such as Yogi Berra, Bobby Brown, and Billy Martin. Eddie loved playing golf and was instrumental in the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association. In his later years, Eddie enjoyed watching baseball on TV and was a fan at many Rangers home games. His unique ability to analyze and discuss the game, past and present, was truly amazing. In 2020, he started a podcast, The Golden Age of Baseball, to share his knowledge and experience with baseball fans everywhere. Eddie and Bette also enjoyed spending time on their family farm in Bastrop, Texas. He loved sitting on the porch watching the Colorado River and nature surrounding him.Eddie always said he was going to live to be 100 years old, but quickly changed that goal to 104 after he turned 100 on December 15, 2020. Anyone that knew Eddie also knew that he liked to set and work towards achieving goals. His accomplishments and accolades throughout his nearly 70 years in professional baseball are a testament to that mantra. Most important to him though was being a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend to many. His passion and joy for living life to the fullest will be dearly missed.Eddie was preceded in death by his parents, Hazel and William Edward Robinson, and his 3-year-old daughter, Robby Ann Robinson.Survivors: Wife, Bette Robinson; sons, Robby Robinson and wife Lynn, Marc Robinson, Paul Robinson and wife Mary, and Drew Robinson and wife Laura; grandchildren, Rob Robinson and wife Erin, Shane Robinson and wife Heather, Andrew Robinson and wife Abby, Hannah Kopriva and husband Bryant, Rachel Robinson and fiancée Brad Florence, Taylor Robinson and wife Brittany, C.J. Goff, and Preston Goff; great-grandchildren, Bethany and Quinn, Tristan and Lova, Ruthie, Grayson and Emily, and numerous cousins.