Rob Tringali/Getty Drew Robinson in February 2020
Drew Robinson just achieved another milestone in his remarkable comeback story.
The 29-year-old baseball player hit his first home run on Tuesday since returning to the sport over a year after attempting suicide and losing his eye. The feat happened during a game between Robinson's Sacramento River Cats and Las Vegas Aviators.
Robinson, a right fielder, hit the home run in the second inning to help give the minor league River Cats a 4-1 lead, according to Bleacher Report. The team is a Triple-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
It was on April 16, 2020, that Robinson lost his right eye after shooting himself in the head at his Las Vegas home. In a recent interview with ESPN, the slugger opened up about his struggles with mental health that led up to that incident.
"Sometimes in your head it just seems justified to point out that negative moment or point out that mistake, like just really fixate on it," he told the outlet. "Because you're in your head, you're spiraling, but I've grown to be so familiar with misery that falling back into those habits feels comfortable. Because it's where I was and all that I knew."
After the shooting, Robinson entered rehabilitation and slowly began his journey back to baseball.
"I'm trying to understand what I'm doing is really hard," he says of playing for the River Cats. "Even when I had two eyes, baseball was hard. I also don't want to be a charity case. I'm trying to prove I deserve this spot. Trying to find that middle ground of appreciating things when they're going wrong but trying to take advantage of this incredible opportunity."
Robinson is still working on his mental health every day, he admitted. While he's making progress, he said has passive suicidal thoughts.
"I've definitely questioned myself and questioned what I'm doing, like if it's even real, if I'm a fake or if I'm a phony, because I still have those thoughts," he told ESPN. "But again, I think that's what makes this all so real and so powerful and so authentic."
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While Robinson's return to baseball hasn't been without bumps in the road — he struck out 10 times in his first 16 at-bats, according to The Mercury News — he is undoubtedly relishing in Tuesday's accomplishment.
"This is just where I belong," he told ESPN. "I feel like I have a lot more in the tank, so getting this opportunity to do this, it just feels so right."
"If it doesn't work out, I just know that I'll be OK. And that's really all it is — kind of believing in that simplicity of, things are going to work out how they're supposed to no matter what," he added. "And that's one of those clichés that I used to always hate — things will happen for a reason, you'll end up where you're supposed to be. But they're clichés for a reason. Because who would've thought that what I did last year on April 16th would've led me to all these new perspectives on things?"
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.