Too Old to Play, Too Young to Retire
After the 1953 season, at the age of 43, I decided I was old enough to hang it up. I'd noticed during the season that I just didn't have the energy that I once had, so I decided to finish the season and not try to come back. I went back to Cleveland and got me a job at General Aluminum. At first they started me working with motors, then I got a job inspecting castings.
To tell you the truth, that job was the hardest thing to adjust to. Not that I was afraid of hard work, but it hadn't been that long since I could walk down the street in Baltimore and overhear people say, "There goes Robinson. He catches for the Elites." People knew me. And then it seemed like the next thing I knew, there I was in Cleveland, just another working man, and no spring training to look forward to. At first that really bothered me but later on I figured that's just the way it has to be. I can't do nothing about it. I can't change it.
When I was looking to retire from baseball, I thought I'd get into some kind of business, and I would have if I could have found the right person to go into business with. Then maybe I could have gone and done all right in business. As it was, I never did find nobody that I could trust that much so business was out. Of course, a job in baseball was out too. They didn't have jobs for black coaches. John O'Neil got a coaching job, but he was the only one.
Buck wound up scouting for the Chicago Cubs for a long time. He sent Ernie Banks up. And Gene Baker. Baker and Banks. Bingo and Bango. They both went to the Cubs in 1953 and became the first black double