Wednesday, February 6, 2013


The first JACKIE ROBINSON was also instrumental in leading his club to a baseball championship - in England. However, he did this all the while starring as one of England's top soccer players.

With all due respect to the American Baseball's Jackie Robinson (Brooklyn Dodgers), this Derby's Jack Robinson was a 2-sport star long before Bo Jackson (Royals / Raiders). Robinson was also selected to play for England's National Soccer Team with a 8W-1T-2L record.
1901 Ogden's Robinson "rookie" card
Robinson won 8 of the 11 times he was called to guard the England nets winning the British Championship 4 times (1898, 1899, 1901 and 1903). He appeared in 2 F.A. Cup Finals with Southampton F.C. and later went to America to play his soccer. In an age where the goalkeepers wore the same jersey as the field players, Robinson appeared on his 1st card (see above) in the stripes of Southampton Saints.
He won 2 baseball titles with Derby County in 1895 and 1897.
Derby County F.C.
Through the efforts of industrialist Sir Francis Ley, a baseball park was built at Derby after his visit to the U.S. in 1889. He met and was later assisted by the American sporting pioneer and publisher - A.G. SPAULDING. The stadium, to be known as the BASEBALL GROUND, was home to both the fledgling American pastime and its famed soccer team. It was closed in 2003.
1890 Baseball Champions - Derby County club included Robinson and Bloomer.
In addition to Robinson (3rd base), one of England's all-time greats - STEVE BLOOMER, played 2nd base.
1906 Ogdens' Club Colours with Steve Bloomer's likeness.
Bloomer's fame has transended into American folklore as his card rightly appears in last year's Upper Deck Goodwin Champions baseball set (see last week). 
Robinson toured Europe with Southampton and made this impression as quoted on wikipedia:
"In that year (1899) the first English professionals came over, Southampton F.C. They beat the Viennese city eleven 6-0 and their goalkeeper, Robinson, showed for the first time how to tackle low shots by flying through the air with the greatest of ease. Until this day (1930) that type of save is called a 'Robinsonade' in Austria and Central Europe. After the match, Robinson gave an exhibition. His goal was bombarded simultaneously with six balls and he blocked most of the shots."

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