Without baseball on the horizon, I’m using this time to connect with former Senators (all of them can be found here).
We will relive some of their fondest memories and find out what they’re up to now. This week we’re headed out once again to the bullpen for Andrew Robinson.
Robinson was signed by the Nationals as a minor-league free agent after the 2015 season. The reliever made 73 appearances with the Senators over the 2016 and 2017 seasons pitching to a 2.68 ERA and pocketing 22 saves.
Mayflies: What are you currently doing?
Andrew Robinson: I’m married to my wife Cassie, and we live in Newnan, GA (about 45 minutes south of Atlanta). We got married in November 2017 after my last season with the Nationals. I’m working for Home Depot at the Store Support Center (Corporate Office). I’m in merchandising in Outdoor Garden, and my categories are Hardscapes (Pavers, Bagged Rock, Etc.) and Lawn Accessories (Landscape Fabric, Edging, Etc.). Basically, we manage these categories for all ~2000 US stores. I have been with Home Depot since September of 2018. As far as hobbies go, I’ve picked up cooking on my Big Green Egg. Although, you may already be aware of this if you follow me on Instagram.
MF: What is your fondest memory of playing in Harrisburg?
AR: My fondest memory playing in Harrisburg was getting to know and hanging out with my teammates. There are quite a few that I still talk to on a regular basis, and we have become great friends. Also, Harrisburg was always a great atmosphere to play in. I’ve played in many stadiums (and by many, I mean all active AA stadiums along with many A and AAA stadiums) over my eight seasons in professional baseball. Harrisburg is up there in terms of atmosphere. It was always a fun place to play, and that mostly has to do with the people in the stands. There is nothing better than playing in front of a full stadium. As far as the city, I VERY much miss Little Amps coffee. I love coffee, and to have a great local roaster right there was something that I quickly got used to.
MF: Going back to the beginning…why baseball?
AR: I’ve always loved baseball. For as long as I can remember, I always told people that I wanted to play professional baseball. Obviously, that is a dream for many kids, but I was actually lucky enough to live it. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason I fell in love with the game at a young age, but my best guess is that it has to do with the Braves. I was a HUGE Braves fan as a kid. I had the pleasure of growing up watching three Hall of Fame pitchers on a daily basis, and I think that started it all.
MF: What was your greatest or favorite day in baseball?
AR: This is a tough one for me. I’d like to say the day I was drafted, but honestly, I was on the golf course that day. Not because I didn’t care, but very much the opposite. It was my senior year at Georgia Tech and my last chance to be drafted. It was either get drafted and go play professional baseball or get a “real job.” This was the third time I was sitting through the draft where I was eligible, and I just couldn’t watch again. I found out that I was drafted when one of my teammates and best friends (Deck McGuire) called me to say congrats. I had no idea.
When thinking about my actual playing career, the championships that I was a part of stand out for sure. I was lucky enough to win three championships over those eight seasons. The first was my very first season after getting drafted. We won the New York Penn League in 2010. Second, we won the California League in 2012. My last was the Eastern League in 2015 with Bowie (Sorry!).
MF: What factors went into your decision to stop playing?
AR: Well, I got old. Obviously, I’m not that old when it comes to life, but I was older for where I was in baseball. After the 2017 season with Harrisburg, I signed with the Dodgers. It was a tough offseason, and I signed pretty late even after coming off two good seasons. Unfortunately, there were not many teams looking to sign a 30-year-old reliever maxing out in the low 90’s. Baseball is getting younger, and pitchers (especially relievers) are throwing harder. Anyway, I went to spring training with the Dodgers and did not pitch well at all. I got released during spring training. At this point, teams are cutting players, so it is even more difficult to sign with an affiliated team. My only option was independent ball. I did not want to go that route because I was 30, married, and had a degree from Georgia Tech. I chose to move on.
Thanks to Andrew for taking the time out of his schedule to answer our questions.