Friday, 22 February, 2019

Baseball Hall of Famer and Orioles Great Frank Robinson, Dead at 83

A note sent to Steven Goff by Frank Robinson when Goff was 10 years old A note sent to Steven Goff by Frank Robinson when Goff was 10 years old
Jennie Wade | 10 February, 2019, 08:01

Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1982, with 89.2 percent of the vote.

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

Robinson was the first player to win an MVP Award in both the National and American Leagues.

According to Major League Baseball, Robinson died at his California home after a lengthy illness.

"Frank Robinson's résumé in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations", Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

When Robinson retired in 1976, his 586 career home runs were the fourth-best in history-good for 10th today.

Robinson, who led the AL with a.316 average, 47 home runs and 122 runs batted in, was the first Triple Crown victor since 1947.

"Frank Robinson played the game of baseball with total integrity and steadfast determination", an announcer said during the award ceremony.

Robinson is considered a trailblazer in the game of baseball. "Baseball will miss a tremendous human being", Aaron said on Twitter.

An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons and a first-ballot selection to Cooperstown, Robinson also was a Rookie of the Year and picked up a Gold Glove. Which is why it was only fitting that Robinson, baseball's first African-American manager, was an integral part of bringing baseball back to the nation's capital. His impact was immediate and memorable.

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Robinson broke into the National League as a 20-year-old in 1956 and tied a rookie record with 38 home runs en route to NL Rookie of the Year honours. In the first inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went insane, cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees. He oversaw the team's transition to Washington where they became the Nationals before ending his managerial career in 2006 at the age of 70.

More than half the major league teams have had black managers since his debut with Cleveland.

When he arrived in Baltimore, Robinson and his family struggled to find housing in the city, with many landlords refusing black tenants.

A paragon of consistency, Robinson's worst seasons were the stuff of dreams for most Major League Baseball players. In 2005, President George W. Bush honored Robinson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

In 1989, the Orioles were a surprising contender and finished second in the AL East, winning 85 games.

He remained the Indians' manager for the 1977 season and was honored by the franchise in 2017 with a statue outside of Progressive Field.

Because he helped pave the way for future generations of black players and managers, Robinson will always be among the most important figures in MLB's history.

While Robinson was fiery on the field, he was even more so off it as he fought for civil rights for much of his playing career especially once he moved to Baltimore.

Born in Beaumont, Texas, Robinson was raised in west Oakland where he attended McClymonds High School along with future NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell.

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