After a lengthy battle with cancer, Baseball Hall of Famer and pioneer Frank Robinson has passed away at age 83.
News had surfaced recently that Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson was not doing well health-wise, as he continued to battle bone cancer. On Thursday, numerous reports confirmed Robinson has passed away at age 83.
Over 21 seasons as a player Robinson hit 586 home runs, which is still good for 10th on the all-time list. He is the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues, doing so with the Cincinnati Reds (1961) and the Baltimore Orioles (1966). In that 1966 season Robinson also won the American League Triple Crown, hitting .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBI (along with 122 runs scored). He finished his career with a .294/.389/.537 slash-line (.926 OPS), 2,943 hits, 1,812 RBI and 1,829 runs.
In 1982, Robinson received 89.2 percent of the vote from baseball writers and went into Cooperstown in his first year of eligibility.
On Opening Day 1975, while still playing for the Cleveland Indians, Robinson made history as baseball’s first black manager. After two-plus seasons as Indians’ manager (two seasons as player-manager), Robinson would go on to manage the San Francisco Giants (1981-1984), the Orioles (1988-1991) and the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals (2002-2006).
In the years around that last managing job with the Expos/Nationals, Robinson had multiple jobs in the MLB office, including Vice President of On-Field Operations, special assistant to commissioner Bud Selig, Senior Vice President for Major League Operations and honorary American League President.
When his role in the league office mandated it, Robinson often drew ire for how he meted out discipline and he was also a consistent vocal critic of baseball for not hiring more black managers or general managers.
Robinson’s No. 20 has been retired by the Reds, Orioles and Indians, joining Nolan Ryan as the only players to have their numbers retired by three teams. He was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.
Robinson is survived by his wife, Barbara, and their two children.