Major League Baseball great Frank Robinson dead at age 83

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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. He won National League Rookie of the Year in 1956, hitting.290 with 38 home runs at age 20 for the Reds.

"We mourn the loss of Hall of Famer and Orioles Legend Frank Robinson", the Orioles wrote in a short statement on Twitter.

An outfielder and first baseman, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 in his first year of eligibility. After being called "not a young 30" by Reds general manager Bill DeWitt, Robinson won the Triple Crown, leading the Orioles to the American League pennant.

Robinson was a National League MVP, breaking records and barriers, and his trade from the Reds is regarded as one of the worst trades in history.


Robinson batted.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs during his first season in Birdland.

He also led his teams to two World Series titles - winning with the Orioles in 1966, when he also was voted the World Series MVP, and in 1970. He left Cleveland in 1977 and returned to managing with the San Francisco Giants from 1981-84 before returning to the Orioles as manager of the team from 1988-1991.

Former Nationals catcher Brian Schneider, who played for Robinson in D.C. and Montreal, expressed a similar sentiment. Robinson, who hit two home runs in the Series, was named the Most Valuable Player. He won the Triple Crown with the Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in Major League Baseball history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians.

Originally, Robinson did not have himself in the lineup that afternoon at Municipal Stadium, but his boss, Tribe general manager Phil Seghi, talked him into it by saying "Frank, this is your day". He was also baseball's first black manager. That served him well in Baltimore where, in addition to being a star right fielder, he was the judge for the team's Kangaroo Court, assessing playful fines for missing signs, uniform mishaps and other things he deemed as infractions.


After news of his passing, many athletes paid tribute to Robinson and what he meant to the game.

Robinson played five more seasons in Baltimore and finished in the top three of MVP voting twice more before he split time from 1972 to 1974 with the Dodgers, Angels and Indians.

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. His leadership in the front office and as manager of the Orioles was highlighted by being named the American League Manager of the Year in 1989.

But it was as a slugger that Robinson may be best remembered.


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