Baseball world mourns the loss of Hall of Famer and ‘tremendous human being’ Frank Robinson
08 February, 2019, 10:52
Despite coming off a 33-homer, 113-RBI season in 1965, Robinson was called an "old 30" by Reds owner Bill DeWitt and shipped to Baltimore.
Robinson was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 1978 and National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He won the award in 1961 for the Cincinnati Reds in the National League and in 1966 for the Orioles in the American League.
"With that 1966 season, Robinson became the first - and remains the only - player to win the MVP in both leagues".
In April 1975, Robinson made history as a player-manager for the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first African-American MLB manager. Statues of Robinson stand outside the Reds' Great American Ball Park, the Orioles' Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Indians' Progressive Field.
Robinson was the first player to win an MVP Award in both the National and American Leagues. "The entire Indians organization extends its thoughts and prayers to the Robinson family".
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the most historic professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member clubs in the USA and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball.
That December, Robinson was the centerpiece in what would ultimately be one of the most lopsided trades in baseball history, going to Baltimore for pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson.
His ability to exact revenge on pitchers who knocked him down became so well known that Phillies manager Gene Mauch was said to have fined any pitcher who dared dust off Robinson.
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.
The MLB Players Alumni Association tweeted Robinson was "a remarkable human being" and noted he had received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil honor, by former President George W. Bush in 2005.
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.
"I knew there was going to be an terrible lot of pressure, a lot of expectation and a lot of unhappy people because when things went right, fine, but when things went wrong, it was going to be doubly bad because of me being the first black manager", Robinson said. "We were friends. Frank was a hard nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done", tweeted baseball legend Hank Aaron.
"You think about great players, generational players- there weren't many better (than Robinson)".
The Orioles confirmed Robinson's passing Thursday afternoon.
Robinson had long career in Major League Baseball, playing for the Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and the Cleveland Indians.
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