Frank Robinson, Former San Francisco Giants Manager, Dies At 83

Frank Robinson right with Pete Rose before a spring training game in 1966

It's a road Robinson not only overcame, but conquered en route to producing one of the greatest careers in Major League Baseball history. We were friends. Frank was a hard nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done. He won the Triple Crown with the Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in Major League Baseball history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians.

Frank Robinson, who slid hard on the asphalt streets of Oakland, Calif.as a youngster and harder still in every game he played during a major league career that saw him become one of the game's most feared sluggers and fiercest competitors, died in hospice care Thursday at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Robinson, who led the AL with a.316 average, 47 home runs and 122 runs batted in, was the first Triple Crown victor since 1947. The legend managed four seasons with the Giants and 16 seasons overall, winning 1,065 games.

"With that 1966 season, Robinson became the first - and remains the only - player to win the MVP in both leagues". "We know his shortcomings". I told the guys, 'Look, don't be misled by what you read. Made all of us better players, and winners. A Triple Crown victor, he was a member of two World Series champion Orioles squads.

Robinson is also a member of the Reds, Orioles, Indians and Nationals' team halls of fame.

He played for the Dodgers in 1972 and was traded to the California Angels after the season, played with them in 1973 and for most of the 1974 season before he was dealt to Cleveland. 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. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1982 with just short of 90% of the vote from the Baseball Writer's Association of America.

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Robinson's time in Ogden lasted one year: the following season, he was promoted to the Tulsa Oilers in the Class AA Texas League. He also managed the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Rochester for most of the 1978 season.

"The Cleveland Indians organization is deeply saddened by the passing of baseball legend Frank Robinson". His leadership in the front office and as manager of the Orioles was highlighted by being named the American League Manager of the Year in 1989.

He ended his managerial career with the Washington Nationals in 2006. He represented four franchises as a manager, most recently when Baseball returned to Washington, DC with the Nationals in 2005. He later served as a senior adviser to commissioner Rob Manfred.

In February 2014, Robinson visited the Orioles' spring training camp in Sarasota, Fla. He was also baseball's first black manager. Hart complied with the assignment.

"Then [Medich] throws me this bastard slider just off the outside part of the plate", Robinson once said.

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