Frank Robinson, MLB’s first black manager, dies at 83

10 February, 2019, 08:02 | Author: Marlene Myers
  • Frank Robinson

"Frank Robinson and I were more than baseball buddies".

Following the end of his managerial career, Robinson moved to the Major League Baseball offices and served in several different roles from 2007-2015, ending as the Executive Vice President of Baseball Development. "On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Frank's wife Barbara, daughter Nichelle, their entire family and the countless fans who admired this great figure of our National Pastime". He won the NL MVP for the Cincinnati Reds in 1961 and the AL MVP for the Baltimore Orioles in 1966.

Pence, 35, is a lifetime.280 hitter over 12 seasons with 224 home runs and 877 RBIs, but he batted just.226 with four home runs and 24 RBIs in 97 games with the Giants last season.

Despite coming off a 33-homer, 113-RBI season in 1965, Robinson was called an "old 30" by Reds owner Bill DeWitt and shipped to Baltimore. He also won the American League MVP Award that year after earning the Triple Crown.

Though Robinson left the Orioles as a player in 1971, he had rubbed off on the organization so much, Horton says, that intensity stuck around for years - Baltimore won three more AL East titles and went to a World Series within the next eight years. The Reds, Orioles and Indians have retired Robinson's No. 20 and saluted him with statues at their ballparks. He finished out his time on the field as a player-manager of the Indians, making him the first African American manager in the history of baseball.

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

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"Heartbreaking news in the passing of my Dear Friend & @McClymondsHS classmate Frank Robinson", Russell, who became the first black head coach in the National Basketball Association, tweeted. "Open the door and to let more African-Americans to have the opportunity to come through it". 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. Thanks in part to a fearless stance that placed his head and hands in the way of many a fastball, Robinson was also hit by a pitch on 198 occasions - ninth most in Major League Baseball history.

"Every time I put on this uniform, I think of Jackie Robinson", Frank Robinson said in 1975.

Robinson's 21-year playing career began with the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1956 at the age of 20. Robinson was sacked 37 games into the 1991 season. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants from 1981 to 1984 and the Orioles from 1988 to 1991. He represented four franchises as a manager, most recently when Baseball returned to Washington, DC with the Nationals in 2005.

-Two years after MLB's disabled list was reorganized with new rules, it now will get a new name, according to an ESPN report.

It's a road Robinson not only overcame, but conquered en route to producing one of the greatest careers in Major League Baseball history.

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