Baseball Hall Of Famer And Pioneer Frank Robinson Dies At 83

10 February, 2019, 08:01 | Author: Greg Lawrence
  • Hall of Famer pioneering manager Frank Robinson dies at 83

He died of bone cancer Thursday.

In his first game in 1975 managing the Cleveland Indians, Robinson batted himself second as the designated hitter and belted a home run in the first inning.

Frank Robinson, who became a legend as one of the greatest power hitting outfielders in the history of Major League Baseball (MLB), as well as the league's first Black field manager, has died.

Robinson hit 586 home runs - he was fourth on the career list behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays when he retired and now ranks 10th.

Late in his playing days, Robinson became baseball's first African-American manager for the Cleveland Indians.

In 1956, Robinson won Rookie of the Year in Cincinnati and later won his first MVP award in 1961.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement in the wake of Robinson's passing. Statues of Robinson stand outside the Reds' Great American Ball Park, the Orioles' Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Indians' Progressive Field. Robinson not only added one of the most powerful bats in baseball to the Orioles lineup, as well as a gold glove to the outfield, his aggressive playing style and fierce competitiveness transformed the team's clubhouse.

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"Guys wanted to sign with Baltimore and go play with him", Horton said. He would again win a World Series title in 1970. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and was honored with the first Jackie Robinson Society Community Recognition Award in 2007.

"Pitchers did me a favor when they knocked me down", Robinson said. The next season, the O's went 87-75 and Robinson was voted AL Manager of the Year.

His career didn't end there, as he would go on to become the first black manager in the National League with the Giants (1981-84).

"Frank Robinson was not only one of the greatest players in Orioles history, but was also one of the premier players in the history of baseball". Robinson was awarded "for his extraordinary achievements as a baseball player and manager for setting a lasting example of character and athletics".

"Knowing what he's done out beyond baseball and being the first black manager and then working at the commissioner's office, I like what he did after he retired", Horton said. He also managed the Orioles (1988-91) and the Expos/Nationals (2002-06), compiling a career record of 1,065-1,176 (.475) across all or parts of 16 seasons.

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

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

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