Robinson won 109 big league games and saved another 57 during 15 seasons spent pitching in the majors. His best year as a starter may well have been his first season in the majors. Robinson came up in 1978 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and went 14-6. He finished third that year in the National League Rookie of the Year vote and eighth in the Cy Young voting. Robinson would not touch double-digit wins again until 1982 when he was 15-13 for the Pirates. He moved to the bullpen the following season and saved 14 games in 1986. He had a great year in 1987, which he split between Pittsburgh and the San Francisco Giants. He was 11-7 that season with 19 saves. Robinson posted double-digit wins for the Giants over the next three seasons as he shifted back into a starting role. He concluded his big-league run in 1992 after pitching for the California Angels and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Robinson was a very good hitter, winning Silver Slugger awards in 1982, 1989 and 1990. His career batting average was .231 and he hit 13 home runs. In 1982 he had 85 plate appearances and hit .282 with 16 RBIs and 10 runs scored for the Pirates.
On September 28, 1987 Robinson took Lance McCullers deep to lead off the eighth inning of the Giants’ game with the San Diego Padres, putting San Francisco up 5-4 in the contest. The Giants held on for the win and clinched the National League West with the victory.
He was part of the 1979 Pirates’ team that won the World Series. He pitched in four games in the series against Baltimore, earning a win in five innings of work. He pitched in the World Series once more, this time in 1989 for the Giants, taking the loss in Game 4 of their series with the Oakland A’s.
Robinson is also notable as the man who gave up Mike Schmidt’s 500th career home run.
Don Robinson – career stats