Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the first manager of the Nationals and one of two to manage the Nats and Baltimore, passed away at teh age of 83. He had been in hospice care.https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2019/02/frank-robinson-passes-away.html
On the field, Robinson was one of the game’s most-feared sluggers for a nearly unfathomable stretch, with his first All-Star nod coming in his Rookie of the Year season of 1956 and his final one occurring in 1974, his final full campaign. In between, Robinson made a dozen additional All-Star appearances and won Most Valuable Player awards in both the National League (with the Reds in 1961) and American League (in 1966, his first season with the Orioles).
A paragon of consistency, Robinson’s worst seasons were the stuff of dreams for most MLB players. He ultimately appeared in 21 campaigns, compiling an eye-popping .294/.389/.537 lifetime batting line in 11,742 trips to the plate. Robinson not only racked up 586 career home runs — still tenth-most in history — but struck out only 789 times while drawing 698 walks.
Robinson’s legendary run as a player only tells part of his story. 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. Even while breaking barriers, Robinson’s supreme talent and determination showed through. In his first season leading the dugout, which was also his age-39 campaign as a player, he posted a 153 OPS+ and drew 29 walks against 15 strikeouts in 149 trips to the plate.
Robinson went on to run the dugouts of the Giants (becoming the first black manager in the National League), Orioles, and Expos/Nationals. Though he did not have a standout run of success in that job, with a 1065-1176 lifetime record as a skipper, Robinson later went on to take a prominent role in MLB operations and remained a highly respected member of the baseball community throughout. All told, his ongoing service cemented his legacy as one of baseball’s all-time lifers.
Robinson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982. He has had his number 20 retired by the Reds, Orioles, and Indians. And he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.
Robinson was the first player to hit All-Star game home runs for both leagues. He was the first player to appear in both the All-Star game the World Series for teams in both leagues. He was the first player to win the Rookie of the Year Award unanimously. He was the first player to win both the Rookie of the Year AND the Most Valuable Player Award unanimously. He is still the only player to win the MVP in each league. He was the first Cincinnati Red to win the Rookie of the Year Award. He was the first player to collect 120 RBI in a season in each leagues. He was the first African American manager and the first post-expansion player-manager. He was the first Hall of Famer to get hit by 150 pitches. He was the first Manager of the Year to have won an MVP OR Rookie of the Year as a player. He has the most career home runs, having only hit 40 or more once during his career. When he retired, he stood 4th all time on the career home run list. He's now tenth. For 4 straight seasons during the apexes of the career of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Orlando Cepeda, Willie McCovey and Mickey Mantle, HE led the majors in intentional walks. His number 20 has been retired by three franchises. Those same three each have a statue of him in front of their stadiums. He is the only manager to manage the same franchise in two countries. He was a high school basketball teammate with all-time NBA great Bill Russell. He served for a time as the (honorary) President of the American League.
You will be missed, Frank.