Updated February 2, 2021 - 9:14 pm
Drew Robinson made it from Silverado High School’s baseball team all the way to the major leagues, but struggled to find peace and even tried to take his own life last April.
He survived but lost his right eye. He also found a new purpose — helping others cope with depression without harming themselves.
His experience is detailed on ESPN.com and in an ESPN E60 documentary.
“This was a huge sign,” Robinson told ESPN of his against-the-odds survival. “A huge, painful sign that I’m supposed to help people get through something that they don’t think is winnable.”
Robinson said his struggle is ongoing and that he has accepted bad days will be mixed with good ones, but that they don’t last.
“I don’t have it all figured out, but I’m working on it,” he said. “It’s not something that you just achieve. You don’t just achieve self-growth. You don’t get to a point where you just have it and you don’t have to work at it again. It’s not like a tool that you just get and you just have it forever.”
He was invited to speak to the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 9, the day before World Suicide Prevention Day. The Giants also signed him to a minor-league contract, and Robinson will attend spring training this year.
Robinson, a 28-year-old middle infielder and outfielder, was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Texas Rangers. He was part of a Las Vegas high school class that included No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper and Kris Bryant, who went on to play college ball at San Diego before going second overall in the draft three years later.
Robinson played parts of the 2017 and 2018 seasons for the Rangers and appeared in five games in 2019 for the St. Louis Cardinals. He signed with the Giants on Jan. 6, 2020, as a free agent.
Now the Giants are giving him another chance.
But whether Robinson’s baseball career continues or not, he believes his story and purpose go much deeper than that. He knows others are experiencing similar emotions and feelings of helplessness that led to his suicide attempt, and his message is there is another way.
“I never will hold back from asking or telling someone, even if it’s something simple,” Robinson said. “Hey, this little thing’s annoying me today. Just tell them. They want to hear it. People that love you want to hear it, and if you don’t have people that love you, therapists want to hear it. People want to help you. Professionals want to help you. So many people in this world are willing to help anyone going through these things. It might be a specific situation that makes it feel like you’re alone, but you’re never alone.”
Where to get help
If you are in crisis, the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) 24 hours a day, seven days a week. More information is available at suicidepreventionlifeline.org.