Frank Robinson, Major League Baseball's first black manager, dies at 83

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Frank Robinson, one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history, passed away on Thursday at the age of 83.

Robinson, the only player to earn the MVP award in both leagues, died Thursday at 83.

The MLB website said Robinson, who died at his California home, had been suffering from a long-term illness.

Since his debut, more than half of all teams have had a black manager.

Despite coming off a 33-homer, 113-RBI season in 1965, Robinson was called an "old 30" by Reds owner Bill DeWitt and shipped to Baltimore.

Robinson batted.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs during his first season in Birdland.

As a manager, he compiled 1,065 wins with four organizations: Cleveland, Baltimore, San Francisco and Montreal/Washington. He crowded the plate, yielding to no pitcher, and didn't seem to care about being brushed back or getting hit by a pitch 198 times. Josh Hart, a young outfielder, didn't know who Robinson was, and manager Buck Showalter assigned Hart to write a one-page report on Robinson.

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"It was everything and more than I thought it would be. I wouldn't let that pitcher get me out".

The MLB Players Alumni Association tweeted Robinson was "a remarkable human being" and noted he had received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil honor, by former President George W. Bush in 2005. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. The award honors "individuals for an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors". He was the NL Most Valuable Player in 1961, the same year the Reds won the league pennant. "He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career", Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday in a statement.

Robinson also led the Orioles to another World Series title in 1970.

It's a road Robinson not only overcame, but conquered en route to producing one of the greatest careers in Major League Baseball history. The legend managed four seasons with the Giants and 16 seasons overall, winning 1,065 games. That includes becoming MLB's first black manager in 1974.

Robinson's number 20 from his playing days has been retired by the Orioles, Reds and Indians and all three franchises have dedicated bronze statues to the trailblazer outside of their respective stadiums. Over that span, his teams went 1,065-1,176 (.475). "After the vote, he said, 'Jay, you're fined for not voting.' Everybody laughed".

Robinson is survived by his wife, Barbara Ann, and two children, Frank Kevin and Nichelle.

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