Baseball legend Frank Robinson dies and social media cries

Pappas went 30-29 over two-plus seasons with the Reds, Baldschun won one game in 51 appearances over two years with Cincinnati and Simpson hit five home runs as a part-time outfielder for the Reds during two mediocre seasons.

ESPN's Tim Kurkjian writes that "Robinson is one of the most underrated superstar players ever to play the game".

Frank Robinson, the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win MVP in both leagues, has died at age 83, MLB said Thursday. A 12-time All-Star selection in the outfield, Robinson also was a Rookie of the Year and won a Gold Glove.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement in the wake of Robinson's passing. He was a once-in-a-lifetime player, then the rare player-manager before finishing out his career in various executive roles for Major League Baseball. Robinson responded by winning the Triple Crown and his second MVP award in 1966, his first season in Baltimore.

"With the Cleveland Indians in 1975, Frank turned Jackie Robinson's hopes into a reality when he became the first African-American manager in baseball history". At age 20, he was voted NL Rookie of the Year after hitting a then rookie-record 38 home runs.

Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues when the Cleveland Indians hired him in 1975. In 1966, he won the Triple Crown, leading the AL with a.316 average, 49 homers, 122 RBIs and 122 runs. Those attributes allowed him to finish his playing days with 586 home runs - fourth-most ever at the time and now 10th on the all-time list. Among being both a player and a manager, Robinson worked in the Baltimore Orioles front office and also as vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball. He would again win a World Series title in 1970. Statues of Robinson stand outside the Reds' Great American Ball Park, the Orioles' Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Indians' Progressive Field.

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Robinson retired from playing after the 1976 season, but his managerial career was just beginning.

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.

"Frank Robinson's wife, Barbara Ann Cole, once said, "He believes in rules and he respects the game".

For all he did on and off the field, Robinson was presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom by George W. Bush in 2005.

Robinson is also in the Nationals' Ring of Honor.

"I knew there was going to be an terrible lot of pressure, a lot of expectation and a lot of unhappy people because when things went right, fine, but when things went wrong, it was going to be doubly bad because of me being the first black manager", Robinson said.

  • Lawrence Cooper