Baseball Hall Of Famer And Pioneer Frank Robinson Dies At 83

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson

The 12-time All-Star played for the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, and Cleveland Indians throughout his 21-year career. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season.

Frank Robinson, major-league baseball's first African-American manager, has passed away, the Cleveland Indians confirmed to FOX 8 News on Thursday. Later, Robinson spent several years working as an executive for Major League Baseball.

"Frank Robinson's resume in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations", MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. In 1966, the year after he was traded to the American League's Baltimore Orioles, a team he led to a World Series victory while winning the Triple Crown and the Most Valuable Player awards.

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was the only player to win the MVP award in both major leagues. In 1975, Robinson became manager of the Cleveland Indians, breaking the color barrier.

Robinson, who led the AL with a.316 average, 47 home runs and 122 runs batted in, was the first Triple Crown victor since 1947.

Fourth on the career home run list behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Willie Mays when he retired with 586 dingers, Robinson now ranks 10th on the list. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Orioles, and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. He and the Orioles won three more AL pennants and another World Series over the next five seasons. They would try to mimic his batting stance in their Little League games; they would go to his games as a group; they would watch the Cincinnati Reds on television just for a glimpse of his face. In 2005, Frank was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for 'setting a lasting example of character in athletics'.

Robinson was the only player to hit a ball completely out of old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and once connected for grand slams in consecutive innings of a game.

Robinson had coached for the Orioles and worked in their front office when he became their manager in 1988 after the team opened at 0-6. He helped win back baseball fans in the city with his presence and personality, while leading a team that competed for the NL East title into the final month of that first season in Washington. Robinson was sacked 37 games into the 1991 season.

"I remember the first game I ever managed [for Baltimore] in 1968".

"Frank took us from being a good team in 1965 to being a great team in 1966", Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer told the Baltimore Sun.

Robinson also was outspoken about white pitchers not being openly rebuked for throwing at black batters.

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