Indians: Frank Robinson, MLB’s first African-American manager, has passed away

Frank Robinson

Modal Trigger Frank Robinson in 1967 AP

Robinson was the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues. 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.

Frank Robinson was Major League Baseball's first black manager.

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

The American League consists of the following teams: Baltimore Orioles; Boston Red Sox; Chicago White Sox; Cleveland Indians; Detroit Tigers; Houston Astros; Kansas City Royals; Los Angeles Angels; Minnesota Twins; New York Yankees; Oakland Athletics; Seattle Mariners; Tampa Bay Rays; Texas Rangers; and Toronto Blue Jays.

"Frank Robinson's resume in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations", Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement.

Robinson, one of the game's most feared sluggers and a fierce competitor, starred in both of baseball major leagues.

"With the Cleveland Indians in 1975, Frank turned Jackie Robinson's hopes into a reality when he became the first African-American manager in baseball history". The fact Frank hit a solo home run in his first at-bat that day as the Indians' player-manager symbolizes his greatness as a Hall of Fame ballplayer. And while he never led his league in a Triple Crown category other than in 1966 when he managed it in all three, he led his league in slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+ four times, including three years in a row (1960-62). He also won Rookie of the Year in 1956, took home the Triple Crown in 1966, and is top-10 on the all-time home run list with 586 bombs. He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Baltimore Orioles and the Montreal Expos.

Robinson is also a member of the Reds, Orioles, Indians and Nationals' team halls of fame. In 2005, Frank was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for 'setting a lasting example of character in athletics'.

It was a proclamation from baseball royalty, words backed up by deeds that built statues and brought honors to one of the greatest players the game of baseball has ever seen.

Robinson had coached for the Orioles and worked in their front office when he became their manager in 1988 after the team opened at 0-6.

Robinson is also in the Nationals' Ring of Honor.

All told, Robinson was an All-Star in five of his six seasons with Baltimore, reaching the World Series four times and batting.300 with 179 home runs. Things didn't get much better right away as Baltimore went on to lose its first 21 games and finished 54-107. That's my responsibility. I put him in there ...

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