Baseball Hall Of Famer And Pioneer Frank Robinson Dies At 83

Frank Robinson right with Pete Rose before a spring training game in 1966

Frank Robinson right with Pete Rose before a spring training game in 1966

He was the first player to win MVP awards in both leagues and the first African-American manager in MLB.

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 the Baltimore Orioles ahead of the 1966 season.

A paragon of consistency, Robinson's worst seasons were the stuff of dreams for most Major League Baseball players.

Robinson became a player-manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975, hitting a home run on Opening Day that year at the age of 39.

Frank Robinson, a legendary outfielder and Major League Baseball's first black manager, has died at the age of 83, the league confirms.

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.

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Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement in the wake of Robinson's passing.

What people said about him: "Frank Robinson and I were more than baseball buddies".

"As the first African-American manager in Major League history, Frank was a proponent of civil rights causes on and off the field, including policies that paved the way for minorities to have increased access to executive and management positions in baseball".

Robinson, who led the AL with a.316 average, 47 home runs and 122 runs batted in, was the first Triple Crown victor since 1947. 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 went on to manage the San Francisco Giants, the Orioles, and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. He would win two World Series titles in his six years with the Orioles. He earned the National League's Rookie of the Year honors in following that season, hitting.290 with 38 homers and 83 RBI in his debut season.

Robinson retired from playing after the 1976 season, but his managerial career was just beginning.

There is a statue of Robinson outside the Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

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The Orioles confirmed Robinson's passing Thursday afternoon.

The Orioles set a baseball record by losing their first 21 that season and ended up with a then-franchise worst 107 losses.

"The Cleveland Indians organization is deeply saddened by the passing of baseball legend Frank Robinson".

On the field, Robinson was a history maker as well. Robinson's name is in the team's Ring of Honor displayed at Nationals Park.

"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.

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