Floyd Robinson was one of the White Sox most productive hitters during the early 1960s. He got his first chance as a starter in 1961, and his .310 average, 11 homers, and 59 RBI earned him third place in Rookie of the Year voting. He would go on to receive MVP votes each of the next four seasons, with his 1962 sophomore season by far the best of his career. That year he set career highs in average (.312), RBI (109), and total bases (285), and led the entire league in doubles with 45. He led the White sox in average three out of four years between 1961 and 1964, and 1965 was his last season of significant productivity. He started seeing less playing time in 1966 and after the ’66 season was traded to the Reds for pitcher Jim O’Toole. He would bounce between the Reds, Red Sox, and Athletics for two seasons before retiring after the 1968 season. Robinson’s .287 batting average with the White Sox is good 22nd on the White Sox all-time list, and his 875 hits and 400 RBI are good for 32nd and 34th, respectively.
Complementing Pete Ward as the only other pure lefty in the White Sox regular 1965 lineup, Al Lopez generally put Robinson first, second, or third in the batting order. He started 146 games in 1965, all but eight in right field. Robinson got off to somewhat of a slow start to the season, batting only .226 after the first game of a doubleheader on May 31st. But Robinson would never be pulled from the starting lineup, and finished the season with a .265 average. His 66 RBI tied him with Ron Hansen for second on the team, behind Bill Skowron’s team-leading 78. His RBI seemed to come in bunches; in 1965 he had three or more RBI seven times. Hansen and Skowron accomplished the feat a total of seven times between them. One of Robinson’s high-octane games came on May 17th.
On May 10th, the White Sox had lost the last of a four-game series with the Twins. Finishing the series with only one win, the Twins had taken a half-game lead over the White Sox. Since the 10th, however, the Sox had won seven straight, including sweeping two doubleheaders. They entered the game on the 17th with a 2.5 game lead over the Twins, and got off to a quick start. Cater lead off the game with a triple, scored on a wild pitch, Buford doubled, and Floyd Robinson smacked a two-run homer off Athletics starter Rollie Sheldon. With Ron Hansen single later in the inning, and the White Sox had batted for the cycle and taken a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Robinson would get out the next two times at the plate, but singled twice late in the game, adding another RBI and two more runs. By the end of the night, the Sox had plated 13 runs and Robinson had three hits, three RBI, and three runs. The White Sox took a 3.5-game lead as they won their 8th straight while the Twins lost in 10 innings to the California Angels.
If a child had run across the actual card pictured above in 1965, he must have put it away in a safe place. Of 144 examples graded by Professional Sports Authenticator, 20 have received the same Mint grade and none have received the coveted grade of Gem Mint.