Frank Robinson death: Hall of Famer and MLB's first black manager dies, aged 83

Chris Riotta

Frank Robinson, a Baseball Hall of Famer attributed with helping to integrate black players into Major League Baseball, has passed away at the age of 83-years-old.

Mr Robinson became the league’s first black manager in 1974 and has a noteworthy, decades-long career dating back to 1953, when he first signed with the Cincinnati Reds.

Mr Robinson ranks 10th in baseball history with 586 career homers and won MVP awards in both the National and American Leagues. He became the league’s first black manager when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians in October of 1974.

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He was National League Rookie of the Year for the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. He was then named NL MVP in 1961 and hit 30 or homers in seven of his 10 seasons with Cincinnati, before being traded to the Baltimore Orioles.

In his first season with the Orioles in 1966, Robinson won the Triple Crown by batting .316 with 49 homers and 122 RBIs. He also earned MVP honors and remains the lone player to win the honor in both leagues.

He played six seasons in Baltimore before finishing his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers (1972), California Angels (1973-74) and the Indians (1974-76).

He served as player-manager in Cleveland for two seasons before retiring with 2,943 hits and a .294 career average.

Mr Robinson went 1,065-1,176 in parts of 16 seasons as a manager with the Indians (1975-1977), San Francisco Giants (1981-1984), Orioles (1988-1991) and Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (2002-2006).

The Reds, Orioles and Indians all have statues of Robinson outside their ballparks.

Citing a “source with direct knowledge of the situation,” the Baltimore Sun reported late last year Mr Robinson was in the late stages of a long illness.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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