LOS ANGELES — Frank Robinson, major-league baseball’s first African-American manager, has passed away, the Cleveland Indians confirmed to FOX 8 News on Thursday. He was 83 years old.
Robinson was the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues. He had been in hospice care at his home in Bel Air.
Robinson hit 586 career home runs and won the Triple Crown while leading the Baltimore Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966.
An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons, his legacy extended far beyond the batter’s box.
Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues when the Cleveland Indians hired him in 1975. In his first at-bat as their player-manager, he hit a home run.
Robinson also managed San Francisco, Baltimore and Montreal. He became the first manager of the Washington Nationals after the franchise moved from Montreal for the 2005 season.
Later, Robinson spent several years working as an executive for MLB.
Robinson was the NL MVP with Cincinnati in 1961 and Baltimore in 1966. The Reds, Orioles and Indians have retired Robinson’s No. 20 and saluted him with statues at their ballparks.
The Indians released the following statement on Robinson’s passing:
“The Cleveland Indians organization is deeply saddened by the passing of baseball legend Frank Robinson. Our organization and the City of Cleveland are proud to have played a role in Frank’s significant impact on the game when he became the first African-American manager in baseball history on April 8, 1975. The fact Frank hit a solo home run in his first at-bat that day as the Indians’ player-manager symbolizes his greatness as a Hall of Fame ballplayer. The entire Indians organization extends its thoughts and prayers to the Robinson family.”
**Watch the 2017 honor to Robinson in Cleveland in the video, above**
Robinson is also in the Nationals’ Ring of Honor. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Hall of Famer.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Frank Robinson.
Frank left a significant impact on the game of baseball when he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. pic.twitter.com/20D1ltQpzh
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) February 7, 2019
Frank Robinson was the only player to have 7 seasons with an OPS of .950+ from 1959-1969.
That’s more seasons than Mays, Mantle, Clemente, Aaron. pic.twitter.com/VyIVsZURla
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) February 7, 2019
We are saddened by the loss of Frank Robinson, a Hall of Famer, 2-time MVP and MLB’s first African-American manager. He was 83. pic.twitter.com/tYDZGMWAfd
— MLB (@MLB) February 7, 2019
RIP Frank Robinson
The first player to win MVP awards in both leagues and the first African-American manager in MLB pic.twitter.com/alP441Hk1N
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) February 7, 2019