(KTXL) – Thursday marked the first day on the job for San Francisco Giants mental health advocate Drew Robinson, whose professional baseball playing career ended Tuesday with the Sacramento River Cats when he voluntarily retired.
“I’ve gone to some pretty dark places throughout this process again, and I’m just deciding to put myself first, and I’m not here to blame baseball one bit,” Robinson said. “Falling short and not performing the way I wanted to was really weighing on me, and falling back into some similar habits I had before my incident, I just kind of realized I didn’t really progress as quickly as I was thinking I was.”
“Once I realized I was handling things in an unhealthy way, I just really wanted to basically put myself first. I didn’t want to go back down that road,” he continued.
The road Robinson is referring to is the one he took last year when he says his failures on the diamond led to a suicide attempt.
The incident cost Robinson his right eye.
Tuesday with the River Cats, Robinson played one last game, with the entire ballpark applauding his courage and recognizing a successful comeback to professional baseball.
“How can I soak every second of this in, and it was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever been through,” Robinson told FOX40. “I’m walking away with so much peace with this, and I think that’s another thing I’m grateful for because being around the game for a while now, I’ve witnessed a lot of guys not being able to go out under the terms they want. The Giants didn’t need to give me this opportunity, so being able to just play 1 game would have been rewarding for me.”
Robinson said the plan is for him to visit with all the minor league teams in the Giants’ farm system and to also be there with the big club to offer support, a conversation or anything else he can provide.
“If I can help a player just be able to assess what is going on inside them a little bit more, and in turn let them enjoy baseball even more because this game is so much fun and it’s so beautiful, but it is very taxing on your mental state,” Robinson explained.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide or is in emotional distress, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.