Frank Robinson, barrier-breaking Hall of Fame baseball player and manager, dies at 83
Frank Robinson, barrier-breaking Hall of Fame baseball player and manager, dies at 83 by
Frank Robinson recalls his days as a Cincinnati Red. Visit Cincinnati.Com/reds for more.
Frank Robinson during his 1966 MVP season with the Baltimore Orioles. (AP)
Decades before Frank Robinson became the Washington Nationals’ first manager in 2005, he had already had one of the most distinguished and trailblazing careers in baseball history. He was the first — and still the only — player to win the MVP award in both the National and American leagues, and in 1975 he became major league baseball’s first African American manager.
He died Feb. 7 at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles. He was 83. Major League Baseball announced his death but did not cite a cause.
Mr. Robinson burst into the national consciousness during his first season with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956, winning the NL’s Rookie of the Year Award. In 1961, he led the Reds to the World Series and won his first MVP award.
Mr. Robinson’s big league debut coincided with the final season of another celebrated Robinson — the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson, who in 1947 became the first black major league player in modern times. Even by 1956, several teams had not yet integrated; Cincinnati had fielded its first black player only two years earlier.
May 26, 1975 | Indians player-manager Robinson talks with players before the start of their game with the California Angels in Anaheim, Calif. (Jeff Robbins/AP)
A powerful hitter, swift, graceful outfielder and hard-nosed competitor, Frank Robinson was part of a generation of black players that dominated baseball in the 1950’s and 1960’s, including Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks and Puerto Rico native Roberto Clemente.
“He brought tremendous power,” Tom Adelman, a baseball historian and author, said in an interview. “He was a really graceful fielder. He ran the bases really well.” To read more go to the link below: