Indians: Frank Robinson, MLB’s first African-American manager, has passed away

Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson dies at 83

Robinson not only racked up 586 career home runs - still tenth-most in history - but struck out only 789 times while drawing 698 walks.

"The Cleveland Indians organization is deeply saddened by the passing of baseball legend Frank Robinson". 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 later served as a senior adviser to commissioner Rob Manfred. "We were friends. Frank was a hard-nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Frank's wife Barbara, daughter Nichelle, their entire family and the countless fans who admired this great figure of our National Pastime".

"Heartbreaking news in the passing of my Dear Friend & @McClymondsHS classmate Frank Robinson", Russell, who became the first black head coach in the National Basketball Association, tweeted. He won National League Rookie of the Year in 1956, hitting.290 with 38 home runs at age 20 for the Reds. But by 1965, despite hitting 33 home runs and driving in 113 runs, Red's management considered him old and expendable.

Robinson, who spent the majority of his playing career with the Cincinnati Reds and Baltimore Orioles, is the only player in MLB history to have won the Most Valuable Player Award in both the National and American Leagues.

Robinson was the 1961 NL MVP after batting.323 with 37 homers and 124 RBIs for the pennant-winning Reds, and reached career highs in runs (134) and RBIs (136) in 1962. Robinson responded by winning the Triple Crown and his second MVP award in 1966, his first season in Baltimore.

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Robinson played five more seasons in Baltimore and finished in the top three of MVP voting twice more before he split time from 1972 to 1974 with the Dodgers, Angels and Indians.

After his career in the dugout, Robinson filled a variety of roles with the league and all the while tirelessly advocated for more opportunities for African-Americans in baseball.

"I wasn't trying to embarrass him in any way", Robinson said, clearly upset.

Robinson had coached for the Orioles and worked in their front office when he became their manager in 1988 after the team opened at 0-6.

Robinson was known for his sheer power at the plate. -Frank Robinson in October 2006, at the end his managerial tenure in Washington, his 51st season as a player, manager or club executive. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season - the Nationals put him in their Ring of Honor, too. Robinson was awarded "for his extraordinary achievements as a baseball player and manager for setting a lasting example of character and athletics". Though the two men were unrelated, they were often mentioned together. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that Robinson was in the late stages of a long illness. He won the American League's Triple Crown in 1966 when he hit.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBI.

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