Baseball legend Frank Robinson dies at 83

Frank Robinson

He later became baseball's first African-American manager. He was also baseball's first black manager. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that Robinson was in the late stages of a long illness. After signing with the Cincinnati Reds in 1953, he faced a tough road filled with racist taunts and death threats.

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

Baseball Hall of Famer and trail blazer Frank Robinson died Thursday in Los Angeles, MLB announced Thursday. During the course of his legendary career, Robinson was selected for 14 All-Star games, won two regular season MVP awards and was named the MVP of the 1966 World Series for the Baltimore Orioles. He hit.323 with 37 home runs and 124 RBIs and led the majors in slugging (.611), OPS (1.015) and intentional walks (23) for a 93-61 Reds club that lost in the World Series to the New York Yankees.

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

His legacy, however, was cemented that day in 1975 when he simply stood in the dugout at old Cleveland Stadium - the first black manager in Major League Baseball.

Robinson was born in Beaumont, Texas, but grew up in Oakland, California, where in his high school he was captain of a state championship basketball team, with Bill Russell - who would go on to be the first black manager in the NBA - as his teammate. He has had his number 20 retired by the Reds, Orioles, and Indians.

Playing just over half of the 1953 season, Robinson had a standout season in his one year with Ogden.

Robinson and Gibson both had the ability to hold a friendly conversation with opponents and ask how they were doing, Horton says.

Robinson played for the five teams, primarily the Cincinnati Reds, during his 21-year Major League Baseball career.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement noting Robinson was "a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations". If you don't know much about Frank Robinson, I recommend looking him up. Thanks in part to a fearless stance that placed his head and hands in the way of many a fastball, Robinson was also hit by a pitch on 198 occasions - ninth most in Major League Baseball history.

Robinson won the 1966 and 1970 World Series with the Orioles, and was named World Series MVP in 1966. We were friends.Frank was a hard nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done.I'm so glad I had the chance to know him all of those years. If it's any kind of baseball laurel, Frank Robinson probably won it.

In 2005, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.

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