Frank Robinson, Former San Francisco Giants Manager, Dies At 83

Jo Caldwell
February 10, 2019

He was the first player to win MVP awards in both leagues and the first African-American manager in MLB.

While Robinson dealt with racism and segregation during his career and broke barriers as an African-American manager, he said his accomplishments pale in comparison to those of Jackie Robinson. He was named MVP twice - once while he was with the Reds and once with the Orioles, making him the first player to earn the title in both leagues. Robinson went on to play for five teams during his more than two-decade long career, winning the Triple Crown in 1966 with the Orioles during the same season that he won his first World Series championship-and was voted World Series MVP-with Baltimore.

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The Indians compiled a 186-189 record under Robinson, who finished with a.294 careers average including 586 home runs and 2,943 hits. He is now 10th. Over that span, he hit 586 home runs (in 33 different ballparks); tallied nearly 3,000 hits; and drove in more 1,800 runs. Robinson died in Los Angeles, surrounded by family and friends. He ranked fourth in homers when he retired.

"Another sad day in Birdland with the passing of Frank Robinson", Palmer tweeted.

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Notable quote: "The only reason I'm the first black manager is that I was born black". "It made me more determined". He advocated for more minorities throughout baseball and worked with former Commissioner Bud Selig to develop the Selig Rule, directing teams to interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a new manager. He famously crowded the plate and led the league in being hit by pitches seven times. They said he "lived an extraordinary life". Several others have made it to the Fall Classic, including Dusty Baker, Ron Washington and most recently, Dave Roberts with the Dodgers each of the last two seasons. "I wouldn't let that pitcher get me out". After his parents split up, his mother moved with her children to California's Bay Area. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

"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. His World Series MVP performance capped off one of the greatest individual seasons in baseball history. In between he also managed for the San Francisco Giants, Orioles and the Montreal Expos.

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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. Statues of Robinson stand outside the Reds' Great American Ball Park, the Orioles' Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Indians' Progressive Field.

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