In a day when injuries are grabbing all the headlines in MLB, the Drew Robinson comeback is truly a breath of fresh air. Robinson is not necessarily a household name among MLB fans. He has appeared in exactly 100 MLB games since his debut in 2017 with the Texas Rangers. In fact, he has only played in five MLB games since 2018. Yet, the story of this young man is truly inspirational and is sure to touch the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.
Drew Robinson Comeback: Meet The Player
Drew Robinson is a 29-year-old player who came up through the Texas Rangers organization. He made his MLB debut on April 5th, 2017, going 0 for 2. He ended the 2017 season with a slash line of .224/.314/.439 and collected six home runs and 13 RBIs. Robinson appeared in 48 games in 2017.
He followed up his rookie year by appearing in 47 games for the Rangers. In 2018 he put up a slash line of .188/.288/.294. He had three home runs and nine RBIs. So, his two-year totals were not what the Rangers were hoping to get from Robinson. On December 11th, 2018, the Rangers traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Robinson struggled mightily with the Cardinals in 2019, as he managed to appear in only five games with the Redbirds. He got only seven at-bats and collected a mere single for a batting average of .143. For the rest of the 2019 season, Robinson played AAA Memphis, where he finished with a slash line of .265/.385/.423. He compiled six home runs and 28 RBIs with Memphis.
Drew Robinson: The Career Takes A Turn For The Worse
Robinson was released by the Cardinals on August 28th, 2019, and sat out the rest of the 2019 season. Then, on January 6th, 2020 Robinson signed a minor league contract with the San Francisco Giants. However, due to that pandemic and the absence of a Minor League season, he did not appear in any competitive games during the 2020 season. Little did anyone know what would happen to alter the course of his life in the spring of 2020.
Drew Robinson: A Desperate Athlete Hits Rock Bottom
On April 16th, 2020, merely one month after the pandemic began, Drew Robinson picked up a gun, placed it to his right temple, and pulled the trigger. Robinson had been struggling with mental health issues for years, unbeknownst to many in his circle. Baseball, which had been so important to him, had ended altogether, and Robinson decided to go into isolation. At 28 years old, Robinson had serious doubts as to whether he would appear in MLB again. In addition, he had just broken off his engagement to his fiancee, Diana. These factors compounded his troubles, and he had decided to end it all.
“I’m Here For A Reason”
Drew Robinson miraculously survived the attempted suicide. In spite of everything he had been going through, he found himself alive. The shooting did serious damage to his right eye, complicating any possible thoughts of returning to his baseball career. That was not important to Robinson at that precise point in time. Less than a year after the attempted suicide, Robinson went public with his story as a way of helping others suffering from depression and other mental issues.
His rationale says a lot about the young man: “How can I go through this and not find a way to try to help other people or impact other people’s lives?” he said. “Just have this happen and just move on with my life the way I was before? There’s no way. This was a huge sign. A huge, painful sign that I’m supposed to help people get through something that they don’t think is winnable.”
But Wait, There’s More
One would think that Drew Robinson’s story could end right here, as he helps others with very serious psychological issues. While that is true, the story is not quite over. There are more chapters to be written in the Drew Robinson comeback. You see, the man who is blind in his right eye is back in baseball! Robinson signed a contract with the Giants and will be on hand when their AAA affiliate Sacramento Rivercats begin their season Thursday night.
Perhaps adding even more to this heartwarming story is the fact that the Rivercats will open their season in Las Vegas, Robinson’s hometown. He will make his return to organized baseball in front of his friends and family. It is hard to imagine Hollywood writing a better script for this young man. Unless of course, he hits a game-winning home run or performs similar heroics. Or maybe a game-saving defensive play.
While nobody knows how a man who is blind in one eye will fare in AAA baseball, the Drew Robinson comeback story is already a miracle in and of itself. Who knows, his vision may prevent him from ever playing again, at least at a high level. However, that matters very little right now. What matters is that a young man, literally on death’s doorstep, is now doing things that will no doubt inspire others to rise above their difficult life circumstances. Even the most avid baseball fan has to realize that life is precious, much more important than a kids’ game.
As we celebrate the Drew Robinson comeback story, we need to celebrate the fact that he has already succeeded. He has overcome much in his young life, and here’s hoping that he continues to make progress. If he never even plays in another game, his story is one that ought to remind us all of what really matters. Thank you, Drew, for sharing your story with us. We are behind you and hope that you continue to inspire others as you continue your journey.
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