Major League Baseball community pays tribute to Frank Robinson

Major League Baseball community pays tribute to Frank Robinson

Frank Robinson, who in 1975 became Major League Baseball's first African-American manager and is considered one of the game's greatest players, died on Thursday at the age of 83.

After winning Most Valuable Player awards in both USA leagues - the only player in history to do so - he went on to manage Cleveland in 1975.

He also became manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975, becoming the first black manager in Major League Baseball history.

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

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. In his first at-bat as their player-manager, he hit a home run.

He became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball history in 1975, leading four organizations during his managerial career, including his final stint with the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals from 2002-06. "And he led his league in runs scored three times, in being hit by pitches seven times and in intentional walks four times".

Notable quote: "The only reason I'm the first black manager is that I was born black". "I'm glad Cincinnati thought he was "an old 30" when they traded him". "I wouldn't let that pitcher get me out". And he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

Robinson, who was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, completed his career with 586 home runs, which still ranks 10 in baseball history.

However, Robinson was also aware of the challenges he would face as the league's first African-American manager. His World Series MVP performance capped off one of the greatest individual seasons in baseball history. The Reds, Orioles and Indians each have retired Robinson's No. 20 and saluted him with statues at their ballparks.

While Robinson dealt with racism and segregation during his career and broke barriers as an African-American manager, he said his accomplishments pale in comparison to those of Jackie Robinson. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that Robinson was in the late stages of a long illness. He won the World Series with the Orioles in 1966 - earning series MVP honors after batting.286 with two home runs - and 1970. He also managed the Orioles (1988-91) and the Expos/Nationals (2002-06), compiling a career record of 1,065-1,176 (.475) across all or parts of 16 seasons. He was also baseball's first black manager.

Tough and demanding, he went 1,065-1,176 overall as a big league manager. "After the vote, he said, 'Jay, you're fined for not voting.' Everybody laughed".

Survivors include his wife, Barbara, and daughter Nichelle.

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