Baseball Legend Frank Robinson Dies At 83

Baseball Legend Frank Robinson Dies At 83

Robinson not only racked up 586 career home runs - still tenth-most in history - but struck out only 789 times while drawing 698 walks. He later served as a senior adviser to commissioner Rob Manfred. "We were friends. Frank was a hard nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done", tweeted baseball legend Hank Aaron. "On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Frank's wife Barbara, daughter Nichelle, their entire family and the countless fans who admired this great figure of our National Pastime".

His legacy, however, was cemented the day he simply stood in the dugout at old Cleveland Stadium as the first black manager in Major League Baseball. He won the award in 1961 for the Cincinnati Reds in the National League and in 1966 for the Orioles in the American League.

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.

Robinson's career spanned two decades, earning him a Rookie of the Year award for his 1956 season with the Cincinnati Reds and 14 All-Star Game nominations.

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian writes that "Robinson is one of the most underrated superstar players ever to play the game". He won the American League's Triple Crown in 1966 when he hit.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBI. Robinson went on to say, "I believe that every ball that stays in the park ought to be caught". "Open the door and to let more African-Americans to have the opportunity to come through it". You're talking about the first generation that was led by Jackie Robinson into the major leagues.

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"I knew there was going to be an terrible lot of pressure, a lot of expectation and a lot of unhappy people because when things went right, fine, but when things went wrong, it was going to be doubly bad because of me being the first black manager", Robinson said.

Robinson moved into the Orioles' front office, serving as an assistant general manager through the 1995 season.

Former Nationals catcher Brian Schneider, who played for Robinson in D.C. and Montreal, expressed a similar sentiment. In 1989 he was voted AL Manager of the Year. He was Rookie of the Year and went on to play for the Reds until 1965. "But how long the door would stay open depended on basically the way I conducted myself and the success that I would have".

While Robinson was fiery on the field, he was even more so off it as he fought for civil rights for much of his playing career especially once he moved to Baltimore. He eventually settled in the Ashburton neighborhood in a house on Cedardale Road.

Robinson became an instant hit with the Orioles in 1966 as the unanimous AL MVP.

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