Hall Of Famer Frank Robinson Dies At 83
As a player, Frank Robinson was one of the most significant and best players of the expansion era of baseball. But he was much more than just a player.
A two-time MVP, a Triple Crown winner in 1966 and the first African-American manager in MLB history, Robinson died on Thursday. He was 83.
Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1982. As a player, he was one of the best hitters in baseball from the late 1950s through the early 1970s. He was the first player to win the MVP award in both leagues. As a member of the Cincinnati Reds, he hit .323/.404/.611 with 37 home runs to win his first MVP award in 1961. Robinson won his second MVP award with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966, leading the league in batting average (.316), home runs (49) and RBIs (122) to win the Triple Crown. He also led the league that season in on-base percentage (.410) and slugging percentage (.637) to win the then-unknown sabermetric Triple Crown.
While those were Robinson’s most notable seasons, he was one of the most feared hitters in baseball year after year. He led the league in slugging percentage on four different occasions, in runs scored three times and also won a Gold Glove in 1957. Robinson also won two World Series with the Orioles. He capped off his 1966 MVP season by being the World Series MVP as well.
In 1975, the Indians tapped Robinson to be a player/manager. It was the first of 16 seasons he spent as a manager with four different teams. His final managerial role was as the manager of the Washington Nationals when the franchise moved to D.C. in 2004.
Since his managerial career ended in 2005, Robinson had worked in a variety of roles in the commissioner’s office.