No. 20, Frank Robinson – The Athletic

Starting in December and ending on Opening Day, Joe Posnanski will count down the 100 greatest baseball players by publishing an essay on a player every day for 100 days. In all, this project will contain roughly as many words as “Moby Dick.” Yes, we know it’s nutty. We hope you enjoy.

Frank Robinson, for me, will always represent what it feels like to be 8 years old. When you’re 8 years old, time stretches like an endless rubber band, and the sun glows a brighter yellow than it ever will again, and every stone stoop and brick wall seems built for you to throw a ball against, and the mind teeters between what’s real and what is magic.

I was 8 years old when Frank Robinson became the first African-American to manage a Major League Baseball game.

No, I didn’t understand the full scope of the thing. All I knew was that it was big. For people who are just a few years older than me, 8 years old might mean gathering around a…

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