Frank Robinson dead: Baseball's first black manager in MLB dead at 83

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Frank Robinson dead: Baseball's first black manager in MLB dead at 83

Robinson was truly a legendary figure, having been the first player to win the MVP award in both leagues before becoming the first black manager in MLB history. At age 20, he was voted NL Rookie of the Year after hitting a then rookie-record 38 home runs.

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. In between, Robinson made a dozen additional All-Star appearances and won Most Valuable Player awards in both the National League (with the Reds in 1961) and American League (in 1966, his first season with the Orioles).

Robinson broke into major leagues in 1956 as a hot hitter and graceful fielder with the National League's Cincinnati Reds.

Six months later, after Robinson won the Triple Crown and led the Orioles to the pennant, the mayor of Baltimore held a ceremony to rename the street "Robinson Road" for the duration of the World Series.

Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues when the Cleveland Indians hired him in 1975. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Orioles, and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals.

The Robinson family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions in Frank's memory can be made to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, or the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C. Statues of Robinson stand outside the Reds' Great American Ball Park, the Orioles' Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Indians' Progressive Field.

Frank Robinson, who slid hard on the asphalt streets of Oakland, Calif.as a youngster and harder still in every game he played during a major league career that saw him become one of the game's most feared sluggers and fiercest competitors, died in hospice care Thursday at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He also became manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975, becoming the first black manager in Major League Baseball history.

"Frank Robinson might have been the best I ever saw at turning his anger into runs".

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

Notable quote: "The only reason I'm the first black manager is that I was born black".

Robinson hit two home runs against the Reds - of all clubs - in teaming with future Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson to win another crown for the Orioles in 1970. At the time of his retirement, Robinson trailed only Henry Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.

The Orioles confirmed Robinson's passing Thursday afternoon.

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 played for the Dodgers in 1972 and was traded to the California Angels after the season, played with them in 1973 and for most of the 1974 season before he was dealt to Cleveland.

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