Baseball Legend Frank Robinson Dies At 83

Baseball Legend Frank Robinson Dies At 83

Robinson died in his home in Los Angeles.

More than half the major league teams have had black managers since his debut with Cleveland.

Starting out in an era when Mays, Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams were the big hitters, Robinson more than held his own over 21 seasons.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement noting Robinson was "a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations". "We were friends. Frank was a hard-nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done". He won the Triple Crown with the Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in Major League Baseball history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians. "We know his shortcomings". Call me old school if you want to or whatever. Made all of us better players, and winners. That bit of hardware, of course, went along with those MVP awards, that triple crown, Rookie of the Year honors in 1956, a Gold Glove, and MVP of the 1966 World Series and the 1971 All-Star Game.

Robinson's No. 20 is retired by the Reds, Orioles and Giants.

He played for the Dodgers in 1972 and was traded to the California Angels after the season, played with them in 1973 and for most of the 1974 season before he was dealt to Cleveland.

After his career in the dugout, Robinson filled a variety of roles with the league and all the while tirelessly advocated for more opportunities for African-Americans in baseball.

He was a player-manager in 1975 and 1976. Robinson was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians in the United States, by President George W. Bush in 2005.

Robinson became an instant hit with the Orioles in 1966 as the unanimous AL MVP. He also managed the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Rochester for most of the 1978 season.


"As the first African-American manager in Major League history, Frank was a proponent of civil rights causes on and off the field, including policies that paved the way for minorities to have increased access to executive and management positions in baseball".

However, Robinson was also aware of the challenges he would face as the league's first African-American manager.

Frank Robinson managed until 2006, when he finished his career with the Washington Nationals.

Former Nationals catcher Brian Schneider, who played for Robinson in D.C. and Montreal, expressed a similar sentiment.

He used those shoulders in Washington to help a depleted, dysfunctional, orphaned franchise owned by Major League Baseball connect with fans here who had been deprived of their own team for 33 years.

In February 2014, Robinson visited the Orioles' spring training camp in Sarasota, Fla.

Notable quote: "The only reason I'm the first black manager is that I was born black". Hart complied with the assignment.

Robinson was known for his sheer power at the plate.

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