Baseball pioneer Frank Robinson has passed away at the age of 83 on Thursday. He had been in hospice for the past several months in Southern California and was able to say so-long to his family and friends before he passed.

Much the way Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier of baseball as a player, Frank Robinson did the same as the very first African-American manager in Major League Baseball.

Robinson began his playing career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 at the age of 20 and won the Rookie of the Year that season clubbing 38 home runs, driving in 83 runs, and scoring 122. He played ten seasons with the Reds where he hit .303, drove in and scored over 1000 runs, and won the MVP in 1961.

He then spent six years with the Baltimore Orioles and won the MVP in his first season with the birds in 1966 in which he set a career high in home runs with 49. Winning that MVP made him the first player in baseball history to win the award in both the American and National League.

He would make brief stops with the California Angels and Los Angeles Dodgers before ending his career with the Cleveland Indians in 1976 at the age of 40, playing 20 seasons in the Major Leagues.

Frank Robinson actually began his managerial career when he was still playing as he was the player/manager for the final two seasons with the Cleveland Indians in 1975 and 1976. This was significant because becoming the manager of the Tribe made him the first African-American manager in the history of baseball.

He went on to manage the San Francisco Giants from 1981-84, the Baltimore Orioles from 1988-1991, the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals from 2002-2006. Robinson never managed a team to the postseason and compiled a 1065-1176 record over 16 seasons managing.

Despite his average run as a manager, there's no denying his greatness as a player and was inducted as a first ballot Hall of Famer in 1982.

He was a truly iconic man and will certainly be missed by all of baseball.

 

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