Hall of Famer and the first Black manager in the Major League Baseball Frank Robinson has passed away at the age of 83.
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said, “We are deeply saddened by this loss of our friend, colleague, and legend, who worked in our game for more than 60 years. 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. It was my pleasure & great honor to have known him. We all know we lost one of the Greats, what we really lost was a Friend. #RIP @MLB @NBA @BleacherReport @MSNBC @CNN @SFGiants pic.twitter.com/KETXL9MhT8
— TheBillRussell (@RealBillRussell) February 7, 2019
Robinson was paid tribute by his friend and former classmate NBA legend Bill Russell who said, “Heartbreaking news in the passing of my Dear Friend & @McClymondsHS classmate Frank Robinson. It was my pleasure & great honor to have known him. We all know we lost one of the Greats, what we really lost was a Friend.”
An outfielder and first baseman, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 in his first year of eligibility.
Robinson was born on August 31, 1935, in Beaumont, Texas. Raised by his mother after his parents divorced when he was an infant, they moved with her children the West Oakland neighborhood of Oakland, California. He attended McClymonds High School in Oakland, where he was a basketball teammate of Bill Russell and future MLB trailblazer Curt Flood.
In his storied career, his best years was with the Cincinnati Reds and the Baltimore Orioles.
A fearsome hitter, Robinson ranks 10th on the career home runs list with 586. He won the Triple Crown with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in MLB history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians.
In 1982, he was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility. President George W. Bush awarded Robinson the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2005.