Tusa: The Kangaroo Court and Frank Robinson

From SABR member Alfonso Tusa at The Hardball Times on April 24, 2019:

In regular life, there are many informal ways of processing and policing failures in human behavior. In baseball, it’s called the Kangaroo Court. The man who presents a charge has to bring a witness to support it. An accuser who can’t prove the charge has to pay the fine. Sessions are always after a victory because when is it easier to talk about your faults than after a win? Judges are nominated, but must be approved. It’s group therapy that can even involve the batboy.

All fines must be paid before the next game. Sometimes part of the court money goes to a team party; sometimes part of it is donated to charity; sometimes it’s split among the batboys.


[Don] Baylor had learned a lot about the kangaroo court since his rookie days with the Baltimore Orioles of Chief Judge Frank Robinson. In the spring of 1970, Robinson stood in the middle of the Orioles dugout at Miami Stadium with a newspaper in hand. He read aloud from the article. He kind of smiled about a young spring-training invitee telling writers that if he got hot, he didn’t care if the Orioles had Frank Robinson, Paul Blair, Merv Rettenmund or Don Buford. “If I get into my groove I’m gonna play every day.” Frank quoted the hotshot as saying.

Read the full article here: https://tht.fangraphs.com/the-kangaroo-court-and-frank-robinson/

Originally published: April 25, 2019. Last Updated: April 25, 2019.