Hall of Famer, Pioneering Manager Frank Robinson dies at 83

Former Cleveland Indians manager and player Frank Robinson

Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson dies at 83.

Robinson is still the only player to win MVP in both leagues, earning National League honors with the Reds in 1961 and the American League award with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966.

"Frank Robinson's resume in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations". During the course of his legendary career, Robinson was selected for 14 All-Star games, won two regular season MVP awards and was named the MVP of the 1966 World Series for the Baltimore Orioles.

Robinson's No. 20 is retired by the Reds, Orioles and Giants. More than half the major league teams have had black managers since his debut in the Cleveland dugout. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Baltimore Oriole in 1982.

The Orioles swept the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four games to win the 1966 World Series.

Originally, Robinson did not have himself in the lineup that afternoon at Municipal Stadium, but his boss, Tribe general manager Phil Seghi, talked him into it by saying "Frank, this is your day". He hit.323 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs and led the majors in slugging (.611), OPS (1.015) and intentional walks (23) for a 93-61 Reds club that lost in the World Series to the New York Yankees.

On Dec. 9, 1965, the Cincinnati Reds traded Robinson to the Orioles for pitchers Milt Pappas, Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson.

"The Cleveland Indians organization is deeply saddened by the passing of baseball legend Frank Robinson".

Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson
Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson

"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". He was the manager for the Montreal Expos when the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals in 2005.

For all he did on and off the field, Robinson was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

Robinson also worked for Major League Baseball from 2006-15.

There are statues of Robinson at the ballparks in Baltimore and Cincinnati.

"Frank Robinson might have been the best I ever saw at turning his anger into runs". The Baltimore Sun recently reported that Robinson was in the late stages of a long illness.

Robinson's legendary run as a player only tells part of his story. Robinson attended McClymonds High School in Oakland where he was a basketball teammate of Hall of Famer Bill Russell and a baseball teammate of Vada Pinson, with whom he would play on the Reds, and Curt Flood.

After his dismissal from Cleveland, Robinson returned to the Orioles as a coach from 1978-80 and 1985-87.

Robinson was 1,065-1,176 over his 16 years as a manager, and though he never made the playoffs, he also mentored Dusty Baker and Joe Morgan, who would follow in his footsteps.

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