Frank Robinson last played for the Baltimore Orioles in 1971. His final season as the team’s manager was in 1991.
Josh Hart was born in 1994. So it’s not entirely surprising that the outfielder chosen 37th overall by Baltimore in last June’s amateur draft didn’t know much about the Orioles legend, who now serves as MLB’s executive vice president of baseball development.
So Baltimore Manager Buck Showalter decided to play schoolteacher after the 19-year-old prospect was introduced to the 78-year-old Hall of Famer at spring training camp on Monday.
“I said, ‘OK, I want tomorrow by this time I want a page on Frank Robinson,’” Showalter explained. “I said, ‘You go home, you research it and you come back tomorrow and have it on my desk.’”
Hart worked diligently on the assignment.
“I knew he was serious,” Hart told MASNsports.com of Showalter. “He’s a serious man. He takes his job as strictly business, and I respect that. Whatever he says, it’s done and that’s a big plus. You’ve got to show him respect all the way.”
He made quick work of the report and received an A-plus from Showalter for his efforts. Among the many facts Hart may have included about Robinson are that he led the Orioles to four World Series (including two victories), won the triple crown and was the American League MVP in 1966 and was the first African American to manage a major league team when he signed on with the Cleveland Indians in 1975.
“I knew he was a Hall of Famer, but specifically, I didn’t know anything about him,” Hart said, “but I did my research and he’s accomplished a lot.”