Baseball legend Frank Robinson dies at 83


A right fielder, Robinson played for five teams in his 21-season career and remains the only player to be named the most valuable player in both leagues.

In 1956, Robinson won Rookie of the Year in Cincinnati and later won his first MVP award in 1961. The only reason that I'm the first black manager is because I was born black.

Frank Robinson, the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame slugger and baseball lifer, died Thursday after a long illness. A 12-time All-Star selection in the outfield, Robinson also was a Rookie of the Year and won a Gold Glove.

"Frank Robinson's resume in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations".

Known for his elite talent and intense demeanor, Robinson became a central figure in advancing Major League Baseball's integration of black players after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. A Triple Crown victor, he was a member of two World Series champion Orioles squads. The fact Frank hit a solo home run in his first at-bat that day as the Indians' player-manager symbolizes his greatness as a Hall of Fame ballplayer. After concluding the 1974 season as a member of the Indians, Robinson made history in 1975 as the first African-American to be named manager of a major league club, while he was still playing. And while he never led his league in a Triple Crown category other than in 1966 when he managed it in all three, he led his league in slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+ four times, including three years in a row (1960-62).

Robinson is now 10th on the all-time home run list with 586. Robinson remained with the Indians until 1977, then managed the San Francisco Giants and Orioles. He would again win a World Series title in 1970.

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It was a proclamation from baseball royalty, words backed up by deeds that built statues and brought honors to one of the greatest players the game of baseball has ever seen. His iconic number 20 is retired in four different ballparks.

Robinson was the only player to hit a ball completely out of old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and once connected for grand slams in consecutive innings of a game. If it's any kind of baseball laurel, Frank Robinson probably won it. And he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

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

Robinson also was outspoken about white pitchers not being openly rebuked for throwing at black batters.

"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.