Frank Robinson, MLB's first black manager, dies at 83

Frank Robinson, MLB's first black manager, dies at 83

Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a player in 1982, Robinson sports an Orioles cap on his plaque.

Frank Robinson was Major League Baseball's first black manager.

Robinson was the first player to win an MVP Award in both the National and American Leagues. The famous home run was the 575 of his career and marked the beginning of his 20 season.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement in the wake of Robinson's passing. He finished his career with 586 home runs, placing him 10th for most home runs in a career. As a member of the Baltimore Orioles, he became the 11th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs. "We were friends. Frank was a hard-nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done. Baseball will miss a tremendous human being", Aaron said on Twitter.

A 12-time All-Star according to the Hall of Fame, Robinson began his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956, when he won National League Rookie of the Year honors.

But his place in the sport's history extended far beyond the batter's box and basepaths. He later became baseball's first African-American manager. His impact was immediate and memorable.

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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 the first inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went insane, cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees. His No. 20 was also retired by the Reds, Orioles and Indians. Robinson remained with the Indians until 1977, then managed the San Francisco Giants and Orioles.

Since his debut, more than half of all teams have had a black manager.

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

The slugger spent some 21 seasons in the league, which were spent between the Cinncinati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Anaheim Angels and Cleveland Indians. Robinson was awarded "for his extraordinary achievements as a baseball player and manager for setting a lasting example of character and athletics". In his post-playing days, he won Manager of the Year with the O's in 1989.

Born Aug. 21, 1935, in Beaumont, Texas, Robinson attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, California, and was a basketball teammate of future NBA great Bill Russell. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that Robinson was in the late stages of a long illness.

Horton says, if not for injuries that put a bit of a damper on his career, Granderson could have ended up like Robinson.

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