Drew Robinson, a baseball player who lost his right eye in a suicide attempt last year, has resumed his baseball career, earning a spot with the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A affiliate for the San Francisco Giants.
On Wednesday, Robinson, 29, posted a message of gratitude on Instagram marveling at how far he’s come.
“I’m officially a one-eyed professional baseball player. I’m lucky enough to say that I’ve made the Giants Triple-A roster for the Sacramento Rivercats,” he wrote.
The River Cats open their season Thursday on the road at the Las Vegas Aviators, which has special meaning for Robinson.
“The fact that we open our season in my hometown of Las Vegas just really can’t get anymore full circle,” he wrote.
“For real though, my first games back, after everything that’s happened, are at home in front of all the people that got me through my incident and this last year as a whole? It feels like I’m living out a movie.
“I really can’t believe it and have a hard time putting it into words how much this means to me, my family, my circle of people, all the doctors that put me back together, and the doctors that work with me on a weekly basis.”
Time will tell if Robinson makes it back to the big leagues. The last person to play in Major League Baseball with one eye, according to ESPN, was a pitcher named Whammy Douglas, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1957. Robinson, who plays outfield, was not sure he would ever play professional baseball again, and he overcame his own doubts to make it to this point.
“I kind of started baseball again hesitantly and worked hard just to see what could happen,” he wrote. “Plenty of times I went down the road of not thinking it was possible and that I was wasting my time.
“But here I am, getting ready to play another professional season, with an astronomical amount of meaning attached to it. This is so much bigger than me. I’m excited, nervous, empowered and more importantly, ready for a magical experience.”
Robinson was drafted by the Texas Rangers in 2010. He made it to the team’s major league roster in 2017 and 2018 before playing in five games for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2019.
He was in spring training with the Giants last year before baseball got shut down due to the pandemic and stayed in touch with manager Gabe Kapler, even speaking with the Giants in September, according to ESPN. He believes he now has to share his story to help others.
"How can I go through this and not find a way to try to help other people or impact other people's lives?" Robinson told ESPN in a story published in February.
"Just have this happen and just move on with my life the way I was before? There's no way. This was a huge sign. A huge, painful sign that I'm supposed to help people get through something that they don't think is winnable."
If you or someone you know is at risk of suicide please call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741 or go to SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for additional resources.