Published: Fri, February 08, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Orioles Hall Of Famer Frank Robinson Dies At 83

Orioles Hall Of Famer Frank Robinson Dies At 83

"We mourn the loss of Hall of Famer and Orioles Legend Frank Robinson", the Orioles wrote in a short statement on Twitter.

Legendary former Major League Baseball player and manager Frank Robinson passed away at the age of 83.

Robinson was named baseball's first black manager in October 1974, and managed the Indians in 1975, 1976 and for part of the 1977 season.

"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.

Frank Robinson was one of the greatest players and managers of all time.

Robinson, 83, died Thursday in Los Angeles after a long battle with bone cancer.

Robinson won his first MVP in 1961 when he helped lead the Cincinnati Reds to their first pennant in 21 years. The fact Frank hit a solo home run in his first at-bat that day as the Indians' player-manager symbolizes his greatness as a Hall of Fame ballplayer. Robinson responded to that judgment with a vengeance. "Known for his fierce competitive will, Frank made history as the first MVP of both the National and American Leagues, earned the 1966 AL Triple Crown and World Series MVP honors, and was a centerpiece of two World Championship Baltimore Orioles' teams", Manfred said. That served him well in Baltimore where, in addition to being a star right fielder, he was the judge for the team's Kangaroo Court, assessing playful fines for missing signs, uniform mishaps and other things he deemed as infractions. "I'm so glad I had the chance to know him all of those years".

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After 10 seasons in Cincinnati, he joined the Baltimore Orioles, and won a World Series in his first season in Baltimore.

A paragon of consistency, Robinson's worst seasons were the stuff of dreams for most Major League Baseball players. 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. He made 13 All-Star teams. He famously crowded the plate and led the league in being hit by pitches seven times.

Fourth on the career home run list behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Willie Mays when he retired with 586 dingers, Robinson now ranks 10th on the list.

There are statues of Robinson at the ballparks in Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Despite coming off a 33-homer, 113-RBI season in 1965, Robinson was called an "old 30" by Reds owner Bill DeWitt and shipped to Baltimore. Among being both a player and a manager, Robinson worked in the Baltimore Orioles front office and also as vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball.

Robinson also worked for the game off the field as a consultant, and then executive, with the commissioner's office. In 2005, Frank was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for 'setting a lasting example of character in athletics'.

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