Baseball Hall Of Famer And Pioneer Frank Robinson Dies At 83

A note sent to Steven Goff by Frank Robinson when Goff was 10 years old

Fearsome on and off the diamond, Frank Robinson was a pioneering member of Major League Baseball who became the first black manager in league history.

Robinson is also one of just eight players in history to accumulate at least 2,900 hits and 500 home runs, and another 14 home runs and 57 hits would have placed him with Aaron, Mays and Alex Rodriguez as the only players in history with 600 home runs and 3,000 hits.

Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was the only player to win the MVP award in both major leagues. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Robinson also won an MVP award with the Orioles in 1966 and remains the only player to win an MVP award in each league after also taking home the title with the Reds in 1961.

In April 1975, Robinson made history as a player-manager for the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first African-American MLB manager. Among being both a player and a manager, Robinson worked in the Baltimore Orioles front office and also as vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season.

A fearsome hitter, Robinson ranks 10th on the career home run list with 586.

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".

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"Heartbreaking news in the passing of my Dear Friend & @McClymondsHS classmate Frank Robinson", Russell, who became the first black head coach in the National Basketball Association, tweeted.

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.

An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons and a first-ballot selection to Cooperstown, Robinson also was a Rookie of the Year and picked up a Gold Glove.

When he arrived in Baltimore, Robinson and his family struggled to find housing in the city, with many landlords refusing black tenants.

After his dismissal from Cleveland, Robinson returned to the Orioles as a coach from 1978-80 and 1985-87.

"Frank took us from being a good team in 1965 to being a great team in 1966", Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer told the Baltimore Sun. He played for the California Angels in 1973 and was dealt to Cleveland late in the 1974 season. 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. We were friends. Frank was a hard nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done.

Robinson led the Orioles to AL pennants in 1969, 1970 and 1971, winning the World Series in 1970, beating Cincinnati in five games, but losing to the New York Mets in 1969 and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1971.

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