Major League Baseball great Frank Robinson dead at age 83

Frank Robinson

Hall of Famer Pioneering Manager Frank Robinson dies at 83 The Associated Press7 Feb 2019

He was voted into the Pro Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

Robinson batted.294 with 586 home runs in 21 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and Cleveland Indians.

After winning Most Valuable Player awards in both U.S. leagues - the only player in history to do so - he went on to manage Cleveland in 1975. Over that span, he hit 586 home runs (in 33 different ballparks); tallied nearly 3,000 hits; and drove in more 1,800 runs. He won the American League's Triple Crown in 1966 when he hit.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBI.

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. The former Oklahoma quarterback will participate in the NFL Combine, the league announced Thursday.

"Pitchers did me a favour when they knocked me down", Robinson said.

Robinson later spent several years working as an executive for Major League Baseball and for a time oversaw the annual Civil Rights Game.

But it was as a slugger that Robinson may be best remembered.

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. Though his clubs never finished first and posted a combined 1,065-1,176 record, Robinson was a trailblazer, opening the door for African American and other minority managers in the years since.

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Washington Nationals Manager Frank Robinson waves to the fans on his last day as the Nationals manager in Washington October 1, 2006. His World Series MVP performance capped off one of the greatest individual seasons in baseball history.

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Being the sport's first black manager "was nothing compared to what Jackie did or what he went through, but it was important because I was the first and that meant the door's open", Robinson told OTL in 2016. Over that span, his teams went 1,065-1,176 (.475).

On the field, Robinson was a history maker as well.

Horton says Robinson's intensity on the field and charming personality and kindness off it "set the standard" for the next 12-15 years in Baltimore when he joined the Orioles in 1966.

At the time, the Orioles had a batboy named Jay Mazzone, whose hands were amputated when he was 2 after a burning accident.

There was no immediate word on funeral arrangements.

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