Frank Robinson, the only man that won the Most Valuable Player Award for both the American and National League, has died today at the age of 83.
Robinson started his major league career in 1956 with the Cincinnati Redlegs where he was named Rookie of the Year and received one of his MVP awards. For the next ten years Robinson would put up great numbers offensively which helped the Reds make it to the Word Series back in 1961 but falling short to the New York Yankees.
A Few Years Later Robinson was Traded to the Baltimore Orioles.
Robinson continued his hot streak winning the Triple Crown and being the only player to ever fully hit a home run out of Memorial Stadium. In 1966 Robinson and the Orioles won the World Series in a four game sweep against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Stepping Stones to Making History
In 1971, Robinson was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers where he played 103 games before being sent off to the California Angels and becoming their first designated hitter. He was let go shortly after that once he made it known that he wanted to become a manager.
The First African American Manager in the Majors
The Cleveland Indians acquired Robinson in a trade during the 1974 season and a few weeks later named him a manager, making him the first black man ever to manage a major league baseball team. Robinson was able to continue playing the game even with his new manager role and hit a home run on his first at bat in his new position.
A hurt shoulder in 1975 slowed him down and he retired from playing at the end of the 1976 season.
Robinson managed a few more teams throughout his career but he was best known for his playing abilities and in 1982 he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as an Oriole.
He is a member of the Orioles, Reds, and Indians Hall of Fame and all three organizations retired his uniform number 20, making him one of only two players to have ever done that.
Robinson has a statue in three different ball parks and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005.
Though we are sadden by the loss of this great man and ball player, his memories will live on through his records, awards, and the hearts of every sports fan.
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