Softball: Former Clown Robinson dies at 91

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By Mike Cote

JL “Robbie” Robinson, an original member of Pierotti’s Clowns, died earlier this month at the age of 91.

Robinson, a pitcher whom Clowns’ ace Bernard L. “Bun” Ryan credited for helping him improve his delivery, died Dec. 3 following a brief illness. Robinson lived in San Pedro, just outside of Española.

Pierotti’s Clowns was a traveling five-man softball team from Los Alamos. The Clowns, who were sponsored by the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club, was started by businessman Lou Pierotti.

Pierotti’s Clowns played exhibition games for charity regularly between 1953-1977, winning 177 of the 200 games they played during that span. The Clowns raised approximately $250,000 for charity during their playing days.

Like most of the Clowns, Robinson worked for S-Site at Los Alamos National Laboratory when he joined the Clowns.

Prior to moving to Los Alamos, Robinson was a professional softball pitcher in eastern Texas, earning as much as $20 per game.

Pierotti, the manager and biggest showman on the team, said Robinson was among the quietest of the Clowns.

“He was very soft-spoken. A gentleman,” Pierotti said. “There were two guys on the team I considered gentlemen, Verdi (Raper) and Robbie Robinson.”

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