The Associated PressCrowding the plate, fearsome and fearless, Frank Robinson hammered his way into the Hall of Fame.
After winning Most Valuable Player awards in both United States leagues - the only player in history to do so - he went on to manage Cleveland in 1975. MLBTR extends its condolences to the Hall of Famer's family, friends, and many acquaintances around the game.
Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement in the wake of Robinson's passing. He hit 586 home runs - 10 all time - and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. 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.
Frank Robinson is a baseball legend.
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. "Baseball will miss a tremendous human being", Aaron said on Twitter. An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons, his legacy extended far beyond the batter's box. He finished out his time on the field as a player-manager of the Indians, making him the first African American manager in the history of baseball. His impact was immediate and memorable.
Robinson, 83, died Thursday in Los Angeles after a long battle with bone cancer. In the first inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went insane, cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees.
Following Robinson's 1965 season with the Reds - the team that signed him out of Xavier University in Cincinnati - GM William DeWitt traded him to the Orioles for two pitchers and an outfielder and to justify it declared Robinson to be "an old 30".
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As a manager, he compiled 1,065 wins with four organizations: Cleveland, Baltimore, San Francisco and Montreal/Washington. 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.
Robinson's time in Ogden lasted one year: the following season, he was promoted to the Tulsa Oilers in the Class AA Texas League.
When he arrived in Baltimore, Robinson and his family struggled to find housing in the city, with many landlords refusing black tenants. He is the only player to have his number retired by three different teams and the only player to win MVP awards in both leagues.
It's a road Robinson not only overcame, but conquered en route to producing one of the greatest careers in Major League Baseball history.
"We learned that the best way to get back at them was to beat them on the field", Robinson, who joined the majors in 1956, said of entering the league.
Robinson was named the AL Manager of the Year with the Orioles in 1989 - the same year he took part in history by coaching against the Blue Jays' Cito Gaston in the first games featuring two black managers. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 and was honored with the first Jackie Robinson Society Community Recognition Award in 2007. Robinson was sacked 37 games into the 1991 season.