Frank Robinson, a legendary outfielder and Major League Baseball's first black manager, has died at the age of 83, the league confirms. Robinson attended McClymonds High School in Oakland where he was a basketball teammate of Hall of Famer Bill Russell and a baseball teammate of Vada Pinson, with whom he would play on the Reds, and Curt Flood.
When Robinson retired in 1976, his 586 career home runs were the fourth-best in history-good for 10th today.
Late in his playing days, Robinson became baseball's first African-American manager for the Cleveland Indians. He later served as a senior adviser to commissioner Rob Manfred.
Frank Robinson and I were more than baseball buddies. "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". 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. He won the award in 1961 for the Cincinnati Reds in the National League and in 1966 for the Orioles in the American League.
The Indians opened at home that year and Robinson, still active, batted himself second as the designated hitter.
He made the All-Star team 12 times won and is the only player to win the MVP award in each league.
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.
On the field, Robinson was a history maker as well. Major League Baseball said he was with family and friends at the time.
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In 1975, Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball when he was named player-manager of the Cleveland Indians.
Robinson also was outspoken about white pitchers not being openly rebuked for throwing at black batters.
"Then [Medich] throws me this bastard slider just off the outside part of the plate", Robinson once said.
Robinson became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the team relocated from Montreal for the 2005 season.
Robinson was the only player to hit a ball completely out of old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore and once connected for grand slams in consecutive innings of a game.
Robinson was 1,065-1,176 over his 16 years as a manager, and though he never made the playoffs, he also mentored Dusty Baker and Joe Morgan, who would follow in his footsteps.
Horton says, if not for injuries that put a bit of a damper on his career, Granderson could have ended up like Robinson. Though the two men were unrelated, they were often mentioned together. He was also baseball's first black manager. If it's any kind of baseball laurel, Frank Robinson probably won it.