HOFer Frank Robinson dead at 83

Ruben Holloway
February 10, 2019

The next season, the O's went 87-75 and Robinson was voted AL Manager of the Year. The Orioles not only won the championship, but they swept the favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four games, and no player has captured the triple crown of baseball since Robinson's prodigious 1966 season. His 586 career home runs are 10th on the all-time list.

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. In his first season leading the dugout, which was also his age-39 campaign as a player, he posted a 153 OPS+ and drew 29 walks against 15 strikeouts in 149 trips to the plate.

As a player manager, Robinson hit a home run in his first at-bat.

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

It's hard to imagine another human being impacting the game the way Hall of Famer Frank Robinson did. The Reds, Orioles and Indians retired his No. 20 and honored him with statues at their stadiums.

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In 2005, Robinson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian award, for setting a lasting example of character in athletics.

Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball when Cleveland announced they had hired him as a player-manager on October 3, 1974, after acquiring him from the Angels earlier that season.

Robinson also led the Orioles to another World Series title in 1970.

Robinson told Horton he "knew in his heart and soul" there would be more black managers to come after him - and there have been.

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.

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Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson waves to the fans on his last day as the Nationals manager in Washington October 1, 2006.

The 14-time All-Star started his career with Cincinnati in 1956, taking home National League rookie of the year honors in his inaugural season when he hit a rookie-record 38 home runs for the Reds. Robinson remained with the Indians until 1977, then managed the San Francisco Giants and Orioles.

One Sunday in a long-ago spring, sudden lightning cracked from Frank Robinson's bat, and in a few electric seconds, one of Baltimore's greatest legends was born.

Robinson had coached for the Orioles and worked in their front office when he became their manager in 1988 after the team opened at 0-6.

Robinson's career accomplishments are quite impressive.

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Basketball legend Bill Russell said Robinson was a good friend.

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