Drew Robinson makes Giants Triple-A roster 1 year after losing eye in suicide attempt

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Texas Rangers' Drew Robinson bats against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Mike Stone)
Drew Robinson is back in baseball a year after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. (AP Photo/Mike Stone)

Editor's note: This story contain a description of a suicide attempt. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours a day at 1-800-273-8255.

In April of 2020, Drew Robinson attempted to take his own life.

The 27-year-old placed a pistol to his temple and pulled the trigger while sitting in the living room of his Las Vegas home. 

On Wednesday, he made the 25-man roster of the Sacramento River Cats, the San Francisco Giants Triple-A affiliate. The accomplishment marked a remarkable milestone in Robinson's return from the depths of depression that he spoke candidly about last November with ESPN's Jeff Passan.

That Robinson survived that day at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic is a miracle. He told Passan that he woke up 20 hours after the self-inflicted gun shot wound with a hole in his head and fear that he had lost an eyeball. He was right. The gunshot wound had ruptured his right eye.

But when he woke up, he realized that he wanted to live. He called 911.

"I need an ambulance," he said on the call, per Passan. "I tried to commit suicide last night, and I made it through. I think I detached my eye maybe. I can't open my right eye and I have a huge hole in my head and I'm in a lot of pain."

The bullet caused significant damage, but missed Robinson's brain and major arteries. Since surviving the initial trauma and medical recovery from the gunshot, Robinson has split his energy between telling his story in an effort to inspire others dealing with mental health struggles and trying to make a baseball comeback. 

A significant part of that physical recovery has been learning to adjust to functioning with one eye. Doctors couldn't save his ruptured eye. A prosthetic eye now sits in his right socket. But playing with one eye didn't halt his baseball comeback.

Making this River Cats roster isn't the pinnacle of Robinson's baseball career. He's spent parts of three seasons in MLB with the Texas Rangers and St. Louis Cardinals, most recently in 2019. 

But, it's clear from his announcement on Twitter Wednesday just how much this accomplishment means to Robinson.

"I'm officially a one-eyed professional baseball player," Robinson wrote. "I'm lucky enough to say that I’ve made the Giants Triple-A roster for the Sacramento Rivercats. ... 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 worked with me on a weekly basis. ...

“This is so much bigger than me. I’m excited, nervous, empowered and more importantly, ready for a magical experience.”

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