It is with great sadness to report that MLB Hall of Famer Frank Robinson has passed away. He was 83 years old.
Robinson passed away at his home in Southern California, MLB said. He had recently been in hospice care.
“We are saddened by the loss of Frank Robinson, a Hall of Famer, 2-time MVP and MLB’s first African-American manager. He was 83,” MLB.com tweeted:
We are saddened by the loss of Frank Robinson, a Hall of Famer, 2-time MVP and MLB’s first African-American manager. He was 83. pic.twitter.com/tYDZGMWAfd
— MLB (@MLB) February 7, 2019
“Frank Robinson’s resume in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations,” Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career.
“We are deeply saddened by this loss of our friend, colleague and legend, who worked in our game for more than 60 years. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Frank’s wife Barbara, daughter Nichelle, their entire family and the countless fans who admired this great figure of our national pastime.”
Robinson batted .294 with 586 home runs in 21 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and Cleveland Indians. He won the World Series with the Orioles in 1966 — earning series MVP honors after batting .286 with two home runs – and 1970. The Reds, Orioles and Indians retired his No. 20 and honored him with statues at their stadiums.
Robinson won his first league MVP with the Reds in 1961, when he led the National League with a .611 slugging percentage, blasting 37 home runs and driving in 124 runs as Cincinnati won the National League pennant. With Baltimore in 1966, he won the Triple Crown — leading the American League with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs and 122 RBIs – en route to the AL MVP award.
“Frank Robinson was the only player to have 7 seasons with an OPS of .950+ from 1959-1969. That’s more seasons than Mays, Mantle, Clemente, Aaron,” MLB Stats tweeted:
Frank Robinson was the only player to have 7 seasons with an OPS of .950+ from 1959-1969.
That’s more seasons than Mays, Mantle, Clemente, Aaron. pic.twitter.com/VyIVsZURla
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) February 7, 2019
Robinson later managed the Indians, Orioles, San Francisco Giants, Montreal Expos and, most recently, the Washington Nationals. 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. More than half the major league teams have had black managers since Robinson’s 1975 debut in the Cleveland dugout.
Rest in peace my brother and thanks for the memories.