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Thread: Why Was Frank Traded?

  1. #1

    Why Was Frank Traded?

    I was 10 years old in 1972 when the Orioles traded Frank Robinson traded. My question is... why did this happen??? Did they feel Frank was in decline? Did he feud with the front-office? Had he had enough of Earl? Was it a question of money? After 1971, the Orioles fell into a decade-log decline. Coincidence? I think after '71, GM Harry Dalton also left. What the hell happened? Does anyone remember? It's a shame that Frank and Brooks didn't spend their final years together in Baltimore?

  2. #2
    sorry about the typos!!!

  3. #3
    He was getting into his late 30's so age could have been a factor, however he still had some good seasons left in the tank.

  4. #4
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    Frank was traded along with Pete Richert to L.A. for Doyle Alexander, Bob O'Brien, Sergio Robles and Royle Stillman (December 2, 1971).

    Earl Weaver and Frank Cashen were quoted as saying the O's wanted to make room for Don Baylor in particular and also Terry Crowley as they eased in younger players. Earl used the terms "scared to death" and "going out on a limb" because of what Frank had meant to the club. But Brooks was viewed as the only untouchable, according to Cashen.

    The club also felt that they had Merv Rettenmund and that they still needed more pitching down the road. Earl likened Alexander and O'Brien (who never pitched a game for Baltimore) to Dave McNally at the same age.

    Frank Robby himself said he expected it but was still kind of numb when the news came. He had also said he only wanted to go to the West or East Coast. Salary ($135K back then!) also limited trade partners but was probably not a primary motive.
    Last edited by VIBaseball; 03-14-2006 at 01:36 PM.

  5. #5
    Thanks VIBaseball, that's good stuff!
    Interestingly, Crowley and Rettenmund never really blossomed as hitters in the big leagues, although both have become successful coaches since. I always thought Baylor was a bit overrrated -- a fine hitter, clubhouse leader, but poor defensively, a prototype DH. But none of these guys could measure up to Big Frank!

  6. #6
    As I recall in '71, they had Rettemund, Blair, Robinson, and Buford, all productive, vying for 3 spots. Someone had to go. Unfortunately, Buford totally flamed out the next year.

    DREW

  7. #7
    An even more interesting question is why the Redlegs traded Robinson to Baltimore after the 1965 season.

  8. #8
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    --I think you overstate the case with "decade long decline" after Robbie was traded. They did slump in 72, but bounced back to win the division in 73-4 and later the pennant in 79. Robinson wasn't a dominant player anymore and keeping him wouldn't have made much difference in their fortunes anyway. Perhaps if the DH had come along a year earlier he would have stayed an Oriole though.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by VIBaseball View Post
    Frank was traded along with Pete Richert to L.A. for Doyle Alexander, Bob O'Brien, Sergio Robles and Royle Stillman (December 2, 1971).

    Earl Weaver and Frank Cashen were quoted as saying the O's wanted to make room for Don Baylor in particular and also Terry Crowley as they eased in younger players. Earl used the terms "scared to death" and "going out on a limb" because of what Frank had meant to the club. But Brooks was viewed as the only untouchable, according to Cashen.

    The club also felt that they had Merv Rettenmund and that they still needed more pitching down the road. Earl likened Alexander and O'Brien (who never pitched a game for Baltimore) to Dave McNally at the same age.

    Frank Robby himself said he expected it but was still kind of numb when the news came. He had also said he only wanted to go to the West or East Coast. Salary ($135K back then!) also limited trade partners but was probably not a primary motive.
    The Orioles certainly thought they were going to get more production out of Doyle Alexander than they did. While Alexander had a good season in '73, you have to wonder if, perhaps, having Robinson in the lineup in October might have made the difference between them losing the ALCS and winning another World Championship?

  10. #10
    I'm guessing that if they had known that the DH rule was coming in one year, they would have kept Frank and figured it out for '72.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Gooch View Post
    After 1971, the Orioles fell into a decade-log decline.
    Decline? Hardly. They went 894-653 (.578 winng percentage) for 1972-1981; finished 1st three times; 2nd five times; 3rd once and 4th once; made the ALCS three times and the World Series in 1979.

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