Hall of Famer, Pioneering Manager Frank Robinson Dies at 83

Hall of Famer, Pioneering Manager Frank Robinson Dies at 83

Hall of Famer, Pioneering Manager Frank Robinson Dies at 83

Robinson, the first African-American manager in MLB history and the only player to win MVP awards in both the American and National leagues, was 83 and had suffered from bone cancer. In 1966 he won Major League Player of the Year, the American League Triple Crown and the AL Babe Ruth Award, as well as being named both the AL and World Series MVP. He won the award in 1961 for the Cincinnati Reds in the National League and in 1966 for the Orioles in the American League. His MLB-best marks of 49 home runs, 122 RBIs, .316 batting average and 122 runs scored helped carry the Orioles to their first World Series title.

The Orioles swept the heavily favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four games to win the 1966 World Series.

"I had incredible respect for him as a player, later as a manager, but here's one of the most important figures in the history of modern baseball", Francesa said about the first-ballot Hall of Famer. Robinson remained with the Indians until 1977, then managed the San Francisco Giants and Orioles.

Robinson's family asked that, in lieu of flowers, contributions in Frank's memory can be made to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee or the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.

Throughout his legendary career, Robinson hit 586 home runs and earned 14 All-Star appearances. He won the Triple Crown with the Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in Major League Baseball history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians.

Robinson retired from playing after the 1976 season, but his managerial career was just beginning.

"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.

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Robinson is considered a trailblazer in the game of baseball.

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian writes that "Robinson is one of the most underrated superstar players ever to play the game".

"We are deeply saddened by this loss of our friend, colleague and legend, who worked in our game for more than 60 years", Manfred said. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Baltimore Oriole in 1982.

The Orioles confirmed Robinson's passing Thursday afternoon.

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.

On the field, Robinson was one of the game's most-feared sluggers for a almost unfathomable stretch, with his first All-Star nod coming in his Rookie of the Year season of 1956 and his final one occurring in 1974, his final full campaign.

Robinson became a player-manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975, hitting a home run on Opening Day that year at the age of 39.

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