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Frank Robinson, key to Orioles’ 1st World Series title, dies at 83

10 February, 2019, 08:02 | Author: Delia Walker
  • Frank Robinson right with Pete Rose before a spring training game in 1966

Because he helped pave the way for future generations of black players and managers, Robinson will always be among the most important figures in MLB's history.

Robinson had 94 hits in 270 at-bats and added 20 doubles and six triples while driving in 83 runs.

He was the first player to win MVP awards in both leagues and the first African-American manager in MLB. The Orioles not only won the championship, but they swept the favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four games, and no player has captured the triple crown of baseball since Robinson's prodigious 1966 season.

When Robinson retired in 1976, his 586 career home runs were the fourth-best in history-good for 10th today. Which is why it was only fitting that Robinson, baseball's first African-American manager, was an integral part of bringing baseball back to the nation's capital. In his first season leading the dugout, which was also his age-39 campaign as a player, he posted a 153 OPS+ and drew 29 walks against 15 strikeouts in 149 trips to the plate.

Following the end of his managerial career, Robinson moved to the Major League Baseball offices and served in several different roles from 2007-2015, ending as the Executive Vice President of Baseball Development.

Robinson was one of the most impactful people in baseball. All told, his ongoing service cemented his legacy as one of baseball's all-time lifers.

Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as a player in 1982, Robinson sports an Orioles cap on his plaque.




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. The only reason that I'm the first black manager is because I was born black.

There are statues of Robinson at the ballparks in Baltimore and Cincinnati.

Robinson is also in the Nationals' Ring of Honor.

After a 10-year stay with the Reds that included a 1956 Rookie of the Year award, the 1961 MVP and a Gold Glove, the 30-year-old Robinson was traded by Cincinnati to Baltimore ahead of the 1966 season.

Robinson went on to manage five teams, including the Orioles from 1988 to 1991 and the Nationals for the first two seasons after baseball returned to D.C.in 2005.

Horton says, if not for injuries that put a bit of a damper on his career, Granderson could have ended up like Robinson.

Basketball legend Bill Russell said Robinson was a good friend. In 1989 he was voted AL Manager of the Year. His World Series MVP performance capped off one of the greatest individual seasons in baseball history. That includes becoming MLB's first black manager in 1974.

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