Frank Robinson, Major League Baseball's first black manager, dies at 83

Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson, a former Baltimore Oriole and Hall of Famer, has died at the age of 83.

In 1974, the Cleveland Indians made Robinson MLB's first black manager while he was still an active player.

He was a 14-time All Star, two-time World Series champion and the only player in history to win the Most Valuable Player award in the American League and the National League. He had been in failing health and in hospice care at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles.

"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.

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

When Robinson retired in 1976, his 586 career home runs were the fourth-best in history-good for 10th today. An MVP with Cincinnati and Baltimore, he led the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966.

That December, Robinson was the centerpiece in what would ultimately be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history, going to Baltimore for pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson. "Baseball will miss a tremendous human being", Aaron said on Twitter. That first year as an Oriole, Robinson captured the rare triple crown, leading the league in home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and batting average and led the O's to their first World Series title. An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons, his legacy extended far beyond the batter's box. In the first inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went insane, cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees.

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Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility, and his No 20 was retired by the Reds, Orioles, and Indians, with each team also erecting a statue in his honour. He returned to managing with the Montreal Expos in 2002 and followed the franchise to Washington D.C., where he managed the Nationals through the 2006 season. There is also a 60-day list used for more long-term injuries and to open a spot on the 40-man roster to make a potential replacement player major league eligible.

Robinson's time in Ogden lasted one year: the following season, he was promoted to the Tulsa Oilers in the Class AA Texas League.

Robinson was one of the most impactful people in baseball.

After his career in the dugout, Robinson filled a variety of roles with the league and all the while tirelessly advocated for more opportunities for African-Americans in baseball.

Robinson managed the San Francisco Giants from 1981-84, and succeeded Cal Ripken Sr.as Orioles manager after the Orioles began the 1988 season with six straight losses. Robinson was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians in the United States, by President George W. Bush in 2005.

Though paid only an additional $20,000 to handle both jobs, Robinson took the position knowing his place in history. He is one of only three Major League Baseball players ever to have his number retired by three teams, along with Nolan Ryan and Jackie Robinson.

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