Baseball Legend Frank Robinson Passes Away at 83

08 February, 2019, 10:52 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • Frank Robinson

As a member of the Reds, he was the 1961 National League MVP.

Robinson had long career in Major League Baseball, playing for the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and the Cleveland Indians. Our organization and the City of Cleveland are proud to have played a role in Frank's significant impact on the game when he became the first African-American manager in baseball history on April 8, 1975.

Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson dies at 83. His opinions do not reflect those of WCPO.

Being the sport's first black manager "was nothing compared to what Jackie did or what he went through, but it was important because I was the first and that meant the door's open", Robinson told OTL in 2016.

"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.

The Orioles confirmed Robinson's passing Thursday afternoon.

"I'm not a superman", Robinson said when he was hired as the Indians' player-manager after the 1974 season, toward the end of a decorated playing career spent primarily with the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles.

Robinson's No. 20 is retired by the Reds, Orioles and Giants.

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"I knew there was going to be an terrible lot of pressure, a lot of expectation and a lot of unhappy people because when things went right, fine, but when things went wrong, it was going to be doubly bad because of me being the first black manager", Robinson said.

Robinson was named the AL Manager of the Year with the Orioles in 1989 - the same year he took part in history by coaching against the Blue Jays' Cito Gaston in the first games featuring two black managers. 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. He was 83 years old. In 1966, he won the Triple Crown, leading the AL with a.316 average, 49 homers, 122 RBIs and 122 runs. "He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career", Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday in a statement. In 1975, Robinson became manager of the Cleveland Indians, breaking the color barrier.

At the time, the Orioles had a batboy named Jay Mazzone, whose hands were amputated when he was 2 after a burning accident.

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

Some players, though, initially weren't sure how to treat the teen. "He was running his Kangaroo Court and calling a vote among the players, whether to fine somebody or not".

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

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.

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