Frank Robinson, MLB's First African-American Manager In Cleveland, Dies At 83

Frank Robinson, MLB's First African-American Manager In Cleveland, Dies At 83

Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

His legacy, however, was cemented that day in 1975 when he simply stood in the dugout at old Cleveland Stadium - the first black manager in Major League Baseball.

But, over six decades as a 14 time all-star, two-time league MVP, two-time World Series champion and baseball's last triple-crown victor, Robinson ascended as an integral figure in MLB's pantheon.

Robinson died in California with family by his side, Major League Baseball said. Robinson not only racked up 586 career home runs - still tenth-most in history - but struck out only 789 times while drawing 698 walks. An MVP with Cincinnati and Baltimore, he won the Triple Crown while leading the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966. The former Oklahoma quarterback will participate in the NFL Combine, the league announced Thursday. Josh Hart, a young outfielder, didn't know who Robinson was, and manager Buck Showalter assigned Hart to write a one-page report on Robinson.

After the last of his managing jobs in 2006, Robinson went on to work for MLB in a variety of roles, among them the vice president of on-field operations, senior vice president for Major League operations and honorary American League president.

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.

Frank Robinson passed away on Thursday.

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Affectionately nicknamed "Pencils" for his thin stature growing up, Robinson was born in Beaumont, Texas, but spent his high school years in Oakland, Calif., where he played basketball alongside Hall of Famer Bill Russell. He was also baseball's first black manager.

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

"He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career", MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement.

"I remember the first game I ever managed [for Baltimore] in 1968". The award honors "individuals for an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors". Over that span, his teams went 1,065-1,176 (.475).

"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.

Some players, though, initially weren't sure how to treat the teen. "He was running his Kangaroo Court and calling a vote among the players, whether to fine somebody or not". "You don't find too many people like that", Horton said.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara, and daughter Nichelle.

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