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Saturday, February 20, 2021

Death threats, bigotry, courage: Behind Giants’ historic hiring of Frank Robinson

“Bob Lurie gets all the credit,” Herndon said. “He had the foresight to do what he needed to do. San Francisco was ready for Frank Robinson, but I’m sure Bob Lurie felt a lot of stress. He gets the credit, no doubt about it, to hire a man like Frank.”

Behind the scenes, Robinson wasn’t fully supported, including by the GM hired after him. Tom Haller, the Giants farm director and former All-Star catcher who replaced Spec Richardson, never seemed to have Robinson’s back.

“The communication between the GM and manager is not like most would have,” said Don Buford, a Giants coach under Robinson and his teammate in Baltimore. “Haller wanted to have Jim Davenport manage. They were close friends. But that was the wrong concept for a general manager.”
Corey Busch, who was Lurie’s right-hand man as executive vice president, said, “Frank never would’ve been Tom’s choice. Tom always resented the fact he inherited Frank and was stuck with Frank. It was not a one-way thing. Frank didn’t like Haller, either. It was not a match made in heaven.”

One of many issues was Robinson didn’t appreciate that Haller wouldn’t throw in another $5,000 to sign the Giants’ second-round draft pick in 1982, a high school kid from San Carlos named Barry Bonds, who wanted $75,000. Haller wouldn’t budge beyond $70,000, Bonds enrolled at Arizona State, Pittsburgh drafted him in 1985, and the future home run record-holder would not make his Giants debut until 1993….

“He could manage as well as anybody,” Buford said. “A lot of people thought he was too harsh, too mean, whatever. What he wanted was just solid, sound fundamental baseball. The Giants needed a guy to change the attitude of the ballclub, and Frank was a fighter and hustler and demanded players be the same way.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2021 at 02:23 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: frank robinson, giants

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   1. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 20, 2021 at 02:35 PM (#6006006)
This wasn't the olden days. This was 1981.
   2. dolce Posted: February 20, 2021 at 05:36 PM (#6006031)
I mean it was 40 years ago, but it was in San Francisco. \
   3. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 20, 2021 at 06:13 PM (#6006035)
Yeah, but there's San Francisco in the cultural imagination and the San Francisco of white ethnics who remained conservative. dan White, for instance.
   4. CFBF's Results are Certified Posted: February 20, 2021 at 07:03 PM (#6006039)
Rick Perlstein's Reaganland had a really interesting sub-plot about cultural politics in San Francisco in the 1970's. Illuminating stuff.
   5. Tin Angel Posted: February 20, 2021 at 07:34 PM (#6006042)
Rick Perlstein's Reaganland had a really interesting sub-plot about cultural politics in San Francisco in the 1970's. Illuminating stuff.


Season of the Witch is also a good read regarding San Francisco's politics in the 60's-80's. More conservative than you might think.
   6. Rally Posted: February 21, 2021 at 11:01 AM (#6006075)
Harry Callahan seemed like a conservative.
   7. puck Posted: February 21, 2021 at 02:22 PM (#6006107)
Oops, wrong thread.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: February 21, 2021 at 10:01 PM (#6006151)
Rick Perlstein's Reaganland had a really interesting sub-plot about cultural politics in San Francisco in the 1970's. Illuminating stuff
.
Season of the Witch is also a good read regarding San Francisco's politics in the 60's-80's. More conservative than you might think.

Shiva Naipaul's Journey to Nowhere shows the pre-Jonestown link between Jim Jones and many of San Francisco's leading politicians. They got suckered into his brotherhood rhetoric almost as much as his Kool-Aid drinking followers. It wasn't a pretty picture.

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