Frank Robinson, a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and MLB's first black manager, died on Thursday at the age of 83 in Los Angeles, MLB has confirmed.
Robinson was the first player to win an MVP Award in both the National and American Leagues. He also became manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975, becoming the first black manager in MLB history.
Robinson was known for his sheer power at the plate. As a member of the Baltimore Orioles, he became the 11th player in MLB history to hit 500 home runs. He finished his career with 586 home runs, placing him 10th for most home runs in a career.
Robinson's career started with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 as he won the Rookie of the Year Award in the National League that year. As a member of the Reds, he was the 1961 National League MVP.
After 10 seasons in Cincinnati, he joined the Baltimore Orioles, and won a World Series in his first season in Baltimore. He also won the American League MVP Award that year after earning the Triple Crown. He would again win a World Series title in 1970.
He later joined the Dodgers, Angeles and Indians.
As a manager, he compiled 1,065 wins with four organizations: Cleveland, Baltimore, San Francisco and Montreal/Washington.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued the following statement:
"Frank Robinson's résumé in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations. He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career. Known for his fierce competitive will, Frank made history as the first MVP of both the National and American Leagues, earned the 1966 AL Triple Crown and World Series MVP honors, and was a centerpiece of two World Championship Baltimore Orioles' teams.
"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. He represented four franchises as a manager, most recently when Baseball returned to Washington, DC with the Nationals in 2005. Since 2000, Frank held a variety of positions with the Commissioner's Office, overseeing on-field discipline and other areas of baseball operations before transitioning to a senior role in baseball development and youth-focused initiatives. Most recently, he served as a Special Advisor to me as well as Honorary American League President. In 2005, Frank was a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award, for 'setting a lasting example of character in athletics.'
"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."
The Cleveland Indians issued the following statement:
“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.”