Drew Robinson, who lost his right eye a year ago, completed a remarkable comeback on Tuesday night when he hit his first home run since his injury.
Robinson sustained the injury when he attempted to kill himself last year. His ensuing journey back to baseball was covered in detail in a story by ESPN earlier this year, and he has since become an advocate for mental health awareness.
“How can I go through this and not find a way to try to help other people or impact other people’s lives?” he said in the ESPN story. “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.”
After starting his recovery from his injuries – he has been fitted with a prosthetic eye – the 29-year-old was determined to resume his career as a member of the San Francisco Giants organization. In November 2020 he signed a minor league deal with the Giants and is a member of the Sacramento River Cats, the team’s Triple A affiliate. Triple A is the highest level of minor league baseball, one rung below the major leagues.
On Tuesday night Robinson returned to his hometown of Las Vegas for the Wild Cats’ game against the Aviators. In the second inning he launched a home run to right field to put his team 4-1 up, although the River Cats went on to lose the game 10-7.
“I’m trying to understand what I’m doing is really hard,” Robinson told ESPN earlier this year. “Even when I had two eyes, baseball was hard. I also don’t want to be a charity case. I’m trying to prove I deserve this spot. Trying to find that middle ground of appreciating things when they’re going wrong but trying to take advantage of this incredible opportunity.”