Bruce Robinson (baseball)

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Bruce Robinson Yankee Stadium During National Anthem
Bruce Robinson At Bat At Yankee Stadium Looking For Sign
Bruce Robinson Oakland A's 1975
Bruce Robinson
Catcher
Born: (1954-04-16) April 16, 1954 (age 60)
La Jolla, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
August 19, 1978 for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1980 for the New York Yankees
Career statistics
Batting average .228
Home runs 0
Runs batted in 10
Teams

Bruce Philip Robinson, (Robby) (born April 16, 1954 in La Jolla, California) is a former Major League Baseball catcher. He played parts of three seasons from 1978 until 1980 and was on the Yankees disabled list during the 1981 and 1982 seasons. He is the son of John Munro Robinson (1917- ), a law school graduate (U. of Minnesota) and banker/estate planner and Kathleen (née Tanner) Robinson (1925-2002), a career housewife and homemaker.

A first-round pick by the Oakland Athletics in the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft, Robinson's career was derailed by an automobile accident while playing for the New York Yankees in 1980. He never returned to the majors, though he continued to play in the minor leagues in 1983, with the Pittsburgh Pirates AAA affiliate in Hawaii and in 1984 with the A's in Tacoma and Modesto. During that time, Robinson was a player-coach for the Modesto A's in 1984, where he worked with future stars Mark McGwire and José Canseco.

Robinson is the father of former ambidextrous minor league first baseman, catcher and player/coach Scott Robinson. Scott Robinson played 8 years of professional baseball, 5 years with the Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners organizations, one season with Macon Georgia where he was League MVP and league leading hitter, and two years as a player coach with O'Fallon, Missouri. Robinson's next oldest brother, Dave Robinson played in the major leagues for two seasons with the San Diego Padres.

Early Years[edit]

Bruce Robinson was born in La Jolla, California, a beach community in the city of San Diego. Bruce is the youngest of 3 brothers. Brothers, John Jr. (Skip) and Dave, and Bruce were multi-sport stars in youth leagues and high school at La Jolla High. Brother Dave, 8 years, Bruce's senior, graduated from San Diego State University and went on to become an outfielder in the Major Leagues with the San Diego Padres. Following his baseball career, Dave became a middle school physical education teacher in San Diego County. Oldest brother, "Skip", was a collegiate pitcher and graduated from University of California at Santa Barbara. Skip was a career banking executive to the wineries of Sonoma and Napa Counties in northern California.

Growing up in a sports oriented family didn't leave time for much more than school and sports. Music was not an integral part of the Robinson family. Bruce showed a love of music at 8 years old, and by age 10, when the Beatles took the world by storm in 1964, he was saving his weekly allowance to buy 45's for $0.99 and Beatle albums for $3.00. Singing with group of 6th grade classmates, Bruce's first gig was at a La Jolla Elementary School P.T.A. meeting. The musical group, Nau & Them (Jim Nau, Robert McCleod, Tim Fallis and Bruce), performed two songs made popular by Herman's Hermits, I'm Henry VIII, I Am and Mrs. Brown You've Got A Lovely Daughter. Nau & Them recast the members for the following year and played two shows, one that gave them a dose of rock stardom, the annual La Jolla Fall Carnival. The band consisted of Jim Nau (piano & organ), Joe Fawcett (lead guitar & vocals), Robert McCleod (rhythm guitar), Larry Mulvaney (drums) and Bruce (bass guitar and lead vocals). That 1967 show was the last musical performance for Bruce, until 41 years later at an open mic in Twin Falls, Idaho. Bruce's fire was to play baseball and reach the Major Leagues. There wasn't time for music and baseball.

Bruce starred for La Jolla High, graduating in 1972. He was drafted by the Chicago White Sox, but elected to turn down their substantial offer to attend Stanford on a full baseball scholarship. After graduation, Bruce flew to Fairbanks, Alaska to join up with the top summer, collegiate program in the nation, the Fairbanks Alaska Goldpanners. Robinson played with dozens of players who went on to stardom in the Major Leagues while the Goldpanners won 3 consecutive national championships at the NBC (National Baseball Congress) Tournament in Wichita, Kansas. The Goldpanners are the most successful amateur team in history and have seen over 200 of their players make it to the Major Leagues. Robinson's 1974 squad is widely acclaimed as the best amateur team ever assembled. Robinson received All-American recognition during both summer and college seasons at Stanford. He broke the single season home run record and, to this day, hit more home runs in a single season, with a wooden bat, than any other Stanford player.

Baseball[edit]

Bruce Robinson, a first-round pick out of Stanford University in June 1975 (21st choice overall), got most of his major league at-bats with the 1978 Oakland Athletics. Robinson, who was hitting .300 with AAA Vancouver, hit .250 after a mid August call-up to the A's.

Robinson's lasting legacy on the game will be his invention of the "Robby Pad" in 1980. The "Robby Pad", a hinged flap on the right/throwing shoulder of a catcher's chest protector, began seeing widespread use in the mid-1980s and can be viewed on most every catcher's chest protector from the major leagues to youth leagues. One of the original two "Robby Pads" is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Robinson retained the original prototype and it is framed in his home in Idaho.

Robinson, along with former New York Yankee pitching star and longtime San Francisco Giant's pitching coach, Dave Righetti, were involved in a car accident in 1980 in which Robinson's right shoulder sustained a career impacting injury, necessitating shoulder reconstruction in May 1981. A drunken driver rear ended Robinson and Righetti in Robinson's car that was stopped in a left hand turn lane as the players were nearing their residence. Robinson could not take advantage of being handed the left-handed platoon side of a starting role with the Yankees in 1981 due to the shoulder injury he sustained in the car accident. Robinson missed the 1981 and 1982 seasons on the Yankee disabled list, and never made it back to the major leagues. He did lead the Oakland A's in batting average during spring training of 1984 but was sent to AAA Tacoma before agreeing to accept a player / hitting coach position with Oakland's class A Modesto in the California League. Robinson's primary role was to work with two young hitters, Mark McGwire (fresh from the 1984 Olympic team) and Jose Canseco who was under performing. McGwire and Canseco went on to prolific and controversial careers in the "steroid age" of baseball in the 1980s and 1990s.

Not many baseball players can claim an affiliation with the Baseball Hall of Fame. Only one former Major League player can claim an affiliation with the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That person is Bruce Robinson. On August 24, 2012, Bruce performed 24 original songs with his guitar and ukulele, as a solo act, on the main stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.

Music[edit]

Bruce Robinson was shaped by the music of the 1960s. At the prodding of classmates, he became part of a band in the 6th grade. He sang and played bass. The band played a few gigs at school carnivals and churches before Bruce dropped out due to his commitment to his goal of reaching the Major Leagues. Robinson, a serious guitar player since college, carried a guitar on road trips throughout his baseball career. He started writing songs in 2008 and has written and copyrighted 50 songs through February 2014, 44 written since November 2011.

"It's About Time"[edit]

Robinson released his self produced, debut music CD in January 2012, It's About Time, consisting of 20 original songs. Robinson plays guitar, ukulele, harmonica, banjolele, and provides lead vocals on all the tracks. This album was born out of Bruce's desire to leave a memory of his music for his kids and grandchildren. Originally intended to be a combination of cover songs and a few originals, Bruce wrote 14 songs the month prior to flying to Kansas City to devote a few days recording with a friend he had met at the National Association of Music Merchants (N.A.M.M.) trade show months earlier. Never having been in a studio, Robinson felt the pains of the process but gained the wisdom he would build upon to one day create future fully produced CD's.

Lessons learned, Robinson set out to improve. With hours of practice, playing numerous gigs in San Diego, Idaho, Las Vegas and one at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in August 2012, Robinson wrote more songs and sought out the creative musical talent that would help him achieve his musical goal. A blur of drive and focus, the same qualities that helped him get to the Major Leagues, Robinson grew quickly from the start of 2012 to mid July 2012 when he had his team assembled to take on the monumental task of recording his 33 original songs. The equivalent of 3 normal length albums, the huge project was one his talented sound engineer, Richard Livoni and Bruce were up to the challenge. Bruce was now familiar with the recording process and was comfortable being more vocal about what he wanted for his music when the cast of musicians were brought in to the studio in San Diego.

"In Good Hands"[edit]

In October 2012, Robinson released his 2nd CD and first fully produced CD, "In Good Hands", a 2 CD collection of 33 lyrically articulated country, blues, jazz, rock and ballad originals. Robinson re-recorded the 20 songs from his first self produced CD and added in 13 new songs in order to have his catalog of music fully produced. The 2nd CD, "In Good Hands", features Robinson's lead vocals with him playing guitar and ukulele. Backing him on are world class musicians, Aristotle Georgio (Harmonica), Rick Nash (bass guitar), John Cain (keyboards and accordion), Joe Marillo (saxophone), Katie "Cat" Catinella (backing vocals) and Richard Blitz (lead guitar, dobro, percussion and drums).

"3"[edit]

In June 2014, Robinson released his 3rd CD, "3", consisting of 17 new originals. As with his second CD, "3" leans country, but includes blues, rock and one jazz tune. The all star band that backed Robinson for "In Good Hands" was reassembled for "3" with the addition of a pedal steel player. Backing Robinson's guitar playing and lead vocals are Aristotle Georgio (Harmonica), Rick Nash (bass guitar), John Cain (keyboards), Tim "Steelbone" Cook (pedal steel), and Richard Blitz(lead guitar, percussion, drums and harmonies).

Personal life[edit]

When not traveling, Bruce Robinson splits time between his Idaho home, perched over the Snake River, and San Diego. Oldest son, Scott, after 8 years of pro baseball, attained an engineering degree and is a project engineer for Gilbane Construction. Daughter, Kelly, is a full-time mother to four kids and was an impressive athlete as a youngster. Youngest son, Tommy, runs a successful internet company, has a degree in criminology and justice studies, is a Deputy Sheriff in Idaho......where the ducks are!

Bruce credits a girl he met on the first day of kindergarten at La Jolla Elementary School in 1959 (and reunited with in 2007) with being the person that got him to write and perform. Both songwriting and performing commenced in October 2008 when he wrote his first song, "Not Enough Time" and performed 7 songs at his first open mic in Twin Falls, Idaho.

Bruce Robinson continues to write music and perform throughout the United States. He is available for booking worldwide.

Discography[edit]

Bruce Robinson
Bruce Robinson Posing Before Performance At Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.jpg
Robinson posing for a fan before his solo performance at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on August 24, 2012
Background information
Birth name Bruce Philip Robinson
Born (1954-04-16) April 16, 1954 (age 60)
Origin La Jolla, California, USA
Genres Country, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Ballad
Occupations Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals, guitar, ukulele
Years active 2008–present
Labels Bruce Robinson Music
Associated acts Aristotle Georgio, Joe Marillo, Rick Nash, Richard Blitz, John Cain[disambiguation needed], Tim Steelbone Cook, Katie "Cat" Catinella, Larry Willson, Sonny Boy Smith, Sir Richard, Miles to Nowhere, Melanie Kurb
Website Official website
Bruce Robinson playing ukulele at Rock and Roll Hall of Fame August 24, 2012
Bruce Robinson's 1st CD, It's About Time, an acoustic quickie
Bruce Robinson's 2nd CD, the fully produced studio double CD, 33 original songs with all star band: In Good Hands
Bruce Robinson's 3rd CD, 17 original songs with his all star band: 3


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Peak chart
positions
US Country US
It's About Time
  • Release date: January 17, 2012
  • Label: Bruce Robinson Music
  • Formats: CD, music download
- -
In Good Hands
  • Release date: October 18, 2012
  • Label: Bruce Robinson Music
  • Formats: CD, music download
- -

Singles[edit]

Year Single Peak Chart Positions Album
US Country US
January 17, 2012 "It's About Time" - - It's About Time
"Don't Rain On My Parade" - -
"When You Look Too Hard For Love" - -
"Gettin' Old Is Gettin' Old" - -
"Gonna See My Sugar Tonight" - -
"I'm Not Afraid Anymore" - -
"When I Wake Up In the Morning" - -
"Traveling With My Baby" - -
"Moving On" - -
"Better Friends Than Lovers" - -
"Says the Light" - -
"I'll Never Be Lost With You" - -
"Only A Vision" - -
"Let's Do It Again" - -
"I Love You" - -
"Not Enough Time" - -
"Dream To Dream Your Dreams" - -
"It's Always Good To Be Back" - -
"I've Been Gone Longer Than You Think" - -
"Wide Open Spaces" - -
October 18, 2012 "It Ain't Right" - - In Good Hands
"This Kind of Truth Hurts" - -
"Don't Rain On My Parade" - -
"Dream to Dream Your Dreams" - -
"Are You Coming Home" - -
"Autumn Rose" - -
"Buck Me" - -
"Give, Love" - -
"Gettin' Old Is Gettin' Old" - -
I'm Not Afraid Anymore" - -
"Let's Do It Again" - -
"Not Enough Time" - -
"It's About Time" - -
"Traveling With My Baby" - -
"Stuffed Monkey" - -
"Dots On the Highway" - -
"Can't Wait" - -
"Only A Vision" - -
"Moving On" - -
"When I Wake Up In the Morning" - -
"Gonna See My Sugar Tonight" - -
"I'll Never Be Lost With You" - -
"I've Been Gone Longer Than You Think" - -
"Spend the Night" - -
"When You Look Too Hard For Love" - -
"Torn Apart" - -
"Listen" - -
"No Website Blues" - -
"Says the Light" - -
"It's Always Good To Be Back" - -
"I Love You" - -
"Better Friends Than Lovers" - -
"Wide Open Spaces" - -
June 15, 2014 "Let Her Go" - - 3
"Crazy Woman" - -
"All I Can Feel Is You" - -
"Different Worlds" - -
"Can't Buy This Cat" - -
"New Love" - -
"When It Comes To Love I'm Dumb" - -
"Reckless" - -
"Knee Deep In Missin' You" - -
"Tell 'Em You're A Star" - -
"Taking Care of Business" - -
"Tell Me You Love Me" - -
"Teen Age Love" - -
"It Could Be Beautiful" - -
"I Been Doin' It Too" - -
"Comin' to Stay" - -
"Lost Love" - -

References[edit]

External links[edit]