Hall of Famer, Pioneering Manager Frank Robinson dies at 83

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson

"He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career". 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. Robinson went on to play for five teams during his more than two-decade long career, winning the Triple Crown in 1966 with the Orioles during the same season that he won his first World Series championship-and was voted World Series MVP-with Baltimore. He finished his career with 586 home runs, placing him 10th for most home runs in a career.

In 1974, the Cleveland Indians made Robinson MLB's first black manager while he was still an active player.

However, Robinson was also aware of the challenges he would face as the league's first African-American manager. He was named MVP twice - once while he was with the Reds and once with the Orioles, making him the first player to earn the title in both leagues.

Six months later, after Robinson won the Triple Crown and led the Orioles to the pennant, the mayor of Baltimore held a ceremony to rename the street "Robinson Road" for the duration of the World Series. Among being both a player and a manager, Robinson worked in the Baltimore Orioles front office and also as vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball.

Robinson is considered a trailblazer in the game of baseball. The Reds, Orioles and Indians retired his No20 and honored him with statues at their stadiums. He oversaw the team's transition to Washington where they became the Nationals before ending his managerial career in 2006 at the age of 70. Later, Robinson spent several years working as an executive for Major League Baseball.

Born Aug. 21, 1935, in Beaumont, Texas, Robinson attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, California, and was a basketball teammate of future NBA great Bill Russell. As a member of the Reds, he was the 1961 National League MVP.

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He added, "If they want to throw that deal in the garbage and have a new conversation, that's a different issue". The governor has the final say over whether Gianaris gets the seat on the board. "Well we're not there yet".

The Robinson family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory can be made to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis or the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.

But it was as a slugger that Robinson may be best remembered.

On the field, Robinson was a history maker as well.

"The baselines belong to the runner, and whenever I was running the bases, I always slid hard", Robinson declared. He was Rookie of the Year and went on to play for the Reds until 1965.

After his dismissal from Cleveland, Robinson returned to the Orioles as a coach from 1978-80 and 1985-87. The legend managed four seasons with the Giants and 16 seasons overall, winning 1,065 games. His leadership in the front office and as manager of the Orioles was highlighted by being named the American League Manager of the Year in 1989.

Robinson is survived by his wife, Barbara Ann, and two children, Frank Kevin and Nichelle.

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