Remembering Frank Robinson, part of the worst trade in Reds team history

Source: 24/7 News

Photo: Shutterstock

Crowding the plate, fearsome and fearless, Frank Robinson hammered

his way into the Hall of Fame.

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, the only player to earn the MVP award in both leagues and

a Triple Crown winner, died Thursday at 83. He had been in failing

health and in hospice care at his home in the Bel Air section of

Los Angeles. MLB said he was with family and friends at the time.

''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 hit 586 home runs - he was fourth on the career list

behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays when he retired

and now ranks 10th. An MVP with Cincinnati and Baltimore, he led

the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966.

''Frank Robinson and I were more than baseball buddies. We were

friends. Frank was a hard-nosed baseball player who did things on

the field that people said could never be done,'' Aaron posted on

Twitter.

''Baseball will miss a tremendous human being,'' he said.

An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons and a first-ballot selection

to Cooperstown, Robinson also was a Rookie of the Year, a Gold

Glove outfielder and a bruising runner.

But his place in the sport's history extended far beyond the

batter's box and basepaths.

Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American

manager in the big leagues when he was hired by the Cleveland

Indians. His impact was immediate and memorable.

The Indians opened at home that year and Robinson, still active,

batted himself second as the designated hitter. In the first

inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went crazy,

cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees.

The Reds, Orioles and Indians have retired his No. 20 and honored

him with statues at their stadiums.

Jason Aldrich

Jason Aldrich

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