Content warning: this article contains references and graphic details regarding suicide.
On Tuesday, San Francisco Giants outfielder Drew Robinson’s story was shared with the world. Robinson courageously told his recent life story to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, who did a spectacular job of reporting what has transpired over the last year or so.
I don’t want to write much about it, because Robinson opened up Passan, who did the story justice, and was followed up by The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly painting the picture from the Giants point of view. I cannot implore you enough to read both articles.
I won’t editorialize or add my own spin, but I will share the main details.
Last year, in the early stages of the pandemic, and after spending Spring Training with the Giants, Robinson chose to take his own life. And a day later, after he had miraculously survived a bullet to the head, he decided he wanted to live, and called for an ambulance.
He survived. He sounds happy and with a renewed since of purpose and joy. He has a prosthetic eye, but the Giants remained adamant that they wanted him to remain in the organization, assuming he wanted to continue his baseball journey. He does.
When Drew called, Kapler told him that he had spoken with Zaidi and Harris, and they all agreed: He needed to remain with the organization. They cared about him. They wanted people like him around. They believed he could still play major league baseball. The Giants were offering Robinson a contract with an invitation to minor league spring training. He wouldn’t be in the same clubhouse as the big league players. There wouldn’t be any guaranteed money or a roster spot. But he would get the chance to work his way there.
“This opportunity wasn’t just given to Drew,” Zaidi says. “He earned it. He had a great camp with us last spring, and he’s amazingly managed to look outward and be a big contributor to the organization even as he’s had to work tirelessly to get back on the field. We’re proud he’s a Giant, and we’re excited to see him compete for a job in camp.”
Drew doesn’t remember what he said. Just that he fumbled over the words and couldn’t thank Kapler enough. He was going to play baseball again.
Again: Please read the articles. Passan’s is here. Baggarly’s is here. They’re stories of hope and courage, and there aren’t enough words to commend Robinson for speaking so openly and vulnerably about the topic, at a time when so many are struggling with mental health battles.
If you, or anyone you know are having thoughts about suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK(8255) or visit suicidepreventionlifeline.org.