Baseball Hall Of Famer And Pioneer Frank Robinson Dies At 83
Feb 09 2019
Former Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer, who also gained first-ballot entry into the Hall, once called Robinson, "the best player I ever saw". He is now 10th.
"The kid actually said, 'Holy cow, I knew he was famous, but I didn't know how", Showalter said. "And he'd be a lot higher in those ranks if not for some of the artificial home runs that came out of those bats".
Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues when the Cleveland Indians hired him in 1975.
Robinson's 21-year playing career began with the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1956 at the age of 20. "It made me more determined".
Robinson then hit the next pitch into the left-center field seats for a home run. Yes, and I've been hard on them for a reason, and that was to try to get them to be the best they could possibly be.
Then we saw Robinson in tears at a post-game press conference because he felt he embarrassed third-string catcher Matt LeCroy, pressed into action due to injuries, by pulling him off the field in the top of the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at RFK Stadium, after seven stolen bases by the Astros and two LeCroy throwing errors. He crowded the plate, yielding to no pitcher, and didn't seem to care about being brushed back or getting hit by a pitch 198 times. During his career he was hit 198 times.
"They said this was the chance for you to break that barrier", Robinson told Outside the Lines in 2016. "It made me more determined".
"Frank Robinson played the game of baseball with total integrity and steadfast determination", an announcer said during the award ceremony. Josh Hart, a young outfielder, didn't know who Robinson was, and manager Buck Showalter assigned Hart to write a one-page report on Robinson. After his parents split up, his mother moved with her children to California's Bay Area.
Robinson later managed the Indians, Orioles, San Francisco Giants, Montreal Expos and, most recently, the Washington Nationals.
Robinson won his first MVP in 1961 when he helped lead the Cincinnati Reds to their first pennant in 21 years.
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.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement noting Robinson was "a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations". He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Baltimore Oriole in 1982. -Frank Robinson in October 2006, at the end his managerial tenure in Washington, his 51st season as a player, manager or club executive.
Survivors include his wife, Barbara, and daughter Nichelle.