Frank Robinson (1935-2019), trailblazing Major League Baseball manager and Hall of Fame player

A note sent to Steven Goff by Frank Robinson when Goff was 10 years old

A note sent to Steven Goff by Frank Robinson when Goff was 10 years old

Thanks in part to a fearless stance that placed his head and hands in the way of many a fastball, Robinson was also hit by a pitch on 198 occasions - ninth most in Major League Baseball history. He was named a senior adviser to the commissioner in February 2015 and an honorary president of the American League.

"We are deeply saddened by this loss of our friend, colleague and legend, who worked in our game for more than 60 years".

Robinson passed away in his Los Angeles home surrounded by his wife Barbara, daughter Nichelle and other family members. 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. 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. He was a 12-time All-Star, the National League Rookie of the Year in 1956 and the World Series MVP in 1966 while winning a pair of World Series titles in Baltimore. He told reporters that Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier as a player in 1947 was more important.

Robinson batted.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs during his first season in Birdland.

A right fielder, Robinson played for five teams in his 21-season career and remains the only player to be named the most valuable player in both leagues. He finished out his time on the field as a player-manager of the Indians, making him the first African American manager in the history of baseball. Robinson went on to say, "I believe that every ball that stays in the park ought to be caught". "Open the door and to let more African-Americans to have the opportunity to come through it".

Robinson moved into the Orioles' front office, serving as an assistant general manager through the 1995 season.

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"The kid actually said, 'Holy cow, I knew he was famous, but I didn't know how", Showalter said. It's a road Robinson not only overcame, but conquered en route to producing one of the greatest careers in Major League Baseball history. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season.

Robinson was the first player to win an MVP Award in both the National and American Leagues.

Robinson was 1,065-1,176 over his 16 years as a manager, and though he never made the playoffs, he also mentored Dusty Baker and Joe Morgan, who would follow in his footsteps. Though the two men were unrelated, they were often mentioned together.

Robinson would go on to be a productive hitter well into his late thirties.

When he arrived in Baltimore, Robinson and his family struggled to find housing in the city, with many landlords refusing black tenants.

Robinson hit two home runs against the Reds - of all clubs - in teaming with future Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson to win another crown for the Orioles in 1970.

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