Frank Robinson, Hall of Fame Slugger and First Black Manager, Dies at 83

An intense player at the plate, he hit 586 home runs and made history when he took the helm of the Cleveland Indians in 1975.

Comments: 139

  1. My first solid memories of baseball are from the 1970 World Series, Reds vs Orioles. Bench, Rose, McNally, Powell, Brooks, Palmer, Cuellar. But the one that stood out the most was F Robby. What an outstanding player. I'm glad that I have memories of when he was still playing.

  2. He brought an excellence to the game that thankfully transcended who you rooted for or who you rooted against. Thank you, Mr. Robinson, for that and more.

  3. Baruch Dayan Emet Blessed is the Judge of Truth (Said in Judaism upon hearing of a person's passing)

  4. He was a great player, no doubt. But as a lifelong Orioles fan, I was disappointed with his cool demeanor towards the Baltimore fans. I believe he riled at being Baltimore's "other Robinson". He just never developed that warm and fuzzy raport you found with other Orioles of that era. Baltimoreans named their children Brooks, not Frank.........

  5. @Mike Geez- a black guy in the 60s was not warm and fuzzy enough for fans in what was then a Southern city? geez, who knew that could happen? And, that would be the white Baltimoreans who named their kids Brooks, right? Robby MADE that team great. Without him, you were Also0rans- even with all those other guys. With him, you were Champions.

  6. @Mike brooks was a fabulous ball player. he played his entire career with the orioles and was already beloved when frank robinson joined the team. and how many AL pennants had the orioles won with brooks before frank joined the team in 1966? it's an unfair comparison.

  7. @Lefthalfbach you stole my comment.

  8. Frank Robinson was the one player who turned the Baltimore Orioles from perennial also-rans to a perennial American League powerhouse. Frank picked up the Orioles and carried them on his back to the 1966 AL pennant and a Worlds Series sweep of the Dodgers. That transformation didn't happen by accident. Deemed "an old 30" by the Cincinnati Reds, Robinson showed the Orioles what it took to be a great team. That winter deal was considered the worst trade in major league history. Like Jackie Robinson, Frank was also a pioneer as the game's first black manager. His baseball genius was evident during the 1989 season when his "Why Not" Orioles lost the AL East by one game after a disastrous season in 1988. Rest in peace, Frank Robinson. You changed baseball much more than you'll ever know.

  9. He was a gentleman. As a kid I met him during Spring Training and he could not have been nicer. He was also an awesome ball player even though he played for the wrong teams.

  10. Man, Frank Robinson was a great ballplayer. And he was a tough guy. He turned the Os into champions. I have often wondered if the Reds traded him because they didn't want a black guy being the de facto Captain of the team. That trade made no sense. There was a play in 66 against the Yankees. Robby went hard into Bobby Richardson to break up a DP. Man it was like "...He just hit Bobby Richardson!...". They were stunned at the Stadium.

  11. As many tributes, awards, and accolades Frank Robinson received, I think he was still under appreciated. He was no nonsense, and not particularly media friendly, and didn't play in NY or LA so his accomplishments weren't ever really widely reported. I have no doubt that if he wore pinstripes he would've eclipsed Mickey Mantle and perhaps even the great Joe D in the ranking of all time Yankee greats, and Mickey Mantle was always my hero. Thank you Frank for showing us how to excel and to always give our best.

  12. For all his accomplishments ‘under appreciated’, like Bobby Clemente

  13. @Dump Drumph I don't think Clemente was underappreciated, actually. I remember an all star game with the outfield of Clemente in right, Mays in center and Aaron in left....listening to the game on a tiny portable radio at the beach. Hard to beat that.

  14. @Kingfish52 You are correct about that. I had been a been fan and as a reporter in Sarasota tried to get an interview during Spring Training. Not that friendly. Over the years I understood he was focused on the team and getting them ready. One of the all time greats. May he rest in peace.

  15. A great player, a great manager. A bona fide Hall of Famer. Rest in (hitting) power and fielding.

  16. i grew up as a kid worshipping frank and the entire roster of heroes mentioned in baltimore like brooks, palmer, mcnally, powell, etc. all coached by earl weaver. it was a fantasy team those years and are cherished memories. a simpler very human, analog time. that these guys all came together and created this magic was truly inspiring to a kid, displaying teamwork and wonder, winning a few world series and golden gloves, all in a modest town. you could even go out on the field and meet your heroes on certain game days, too. truly old times. frank, rest in peace.

  17. What a great player and great man. I have many fond memories of watching him just thump the ball. A real great.

  18. Note that high school basketball teammate Bill Russell was the first black NBA head coach. I can't imagine that is completely a coincidence that the same program produced two such strong-willed pioneers.

  19. @copans, I sure would have liked to meet their high school basketball coach.

  20. @carol goldstein I would also have loved to watch them play.

  21. Remember, that same McClymonds basketball team also included Curt Flood (the first Colin Kaepernick maybe?) and Vada Pinson, Factor in K.C. Jones at a rival Oakland high school, and you realize these five were not just great athletes and champions, they were important coaches, leaders and public figures, each in his own right. Bravo and thank you, all. .

  22. Frank Robinson was a talented athlete and a class act, both on the field and off. He proved himself over and over again as a player and eventually as a manager. He was an athlete your kids could look up to and our world could use more people like him.

  23. RIP MVP! A man who showed that blacks can lead as well as run, throw, hit, and catch! Say “hello” to Jackie for us!

  24. Growing up in Cincinnati, Ohio I got to see Frank Robinson play for the Reds at Crosley Flied. This was a time when the ball players lived in the same section of town with all of us. He was a down to earth person who made one mistake in the city. He was known to like to pursue white women. The Reds traded him because of it. Rest in Peace Mr. Robinson.

  25. It is hard to overstate Frank Robinson’s greatness. More than a wonderful baseball player, he was an individual of tremendous stature, intellect and substance. (He also had a sense of humor - while managing the ‘89 Orioles he was ejected and gave Earl Weaver a run for his money in a legendary performance.) As fearsome a player as he was, there was undeniable grace in the way he stood for so much throughout his multifaceted career. A true loss on many levels for baseball and our country.

  26. Where have you gone, Mr. Robinson? The nation turned its lonely eyes to you.

  27. Another true All-Star joins the stars.

  28. Great, great player and a great heir to Jackie’s legacy, ‘intense and intimidating’. No coincidence Rachel threw out first ball for him as manager and he hit homer first time up. NY would’ve loved his competitiveness had he been with Yanks.

  29. A grateful tip of the cap to a true Hall of Famer. Frank Robinson will always represent baseball excellence and the best of the Baltimore Orioles.

  30. One of the greatest of all time. He was a key factor in the heart of those great Oriole teams. May he rest in peace.

  31. As a Yankee fan I was always on the edge of my seat when Frank Robinson was batting. I was surprised that the Orioles traded him. He was a great ballplayer and set an excellent example for all of us.

  32. There was a time when Robinson was more feared by pitchers than Hank Aaron or Willie Mays. His best years are every bit as great as their best years.

  33. @Martin X And Frank Robinson lived and played with a confident macho edge on off of the field when few black sports figures not named Bill Russell and Muhammad Ali were willing to do so. Robinson's baseball talents spanned the 5 tool gamut hitting with average and power, running with speed, catching and throwing with accuracy and frequency. Baserunners and catchers feared him along with hitters and outfielders and pitchers.

  34. I had the good fortune to see him play in both the AL and NL, and then later manage. What a mix of speed. power and aggression, always a joy to watch. RIP

  35. A great, great old-fashioned baseball star. Thank you, Frank Robinson.

  36. I grew up in Dayton in the heart of Reds country. My mother and her mother were avid baseball fans and I caught the bug from them. Frank was Grandma's favorite player. And of course mine. With Mother it was harder to tell but I remember her pointed scoffing when the Reds traded him. At that point I was leaving for college in Boston and I became an Orioles fan. An "old 30"? Not exactly. While I was growing up we would make the 6 mile trek to Crosley Field a few times a year. I remember our driving down after Sunday church on a whim to see the last home game of the season in 1960. There I was sitting in the bleachers in my yellow and white cotton dress staring at Frank's back in right field while lunching on a brat and lemonade. Flash forward to the aughts. The Expos were playing at Shea and I went to the game in an Expos cap to watch Frank manage. He was not a young man by then but I was not surprised to see him standing poised on the top step of the dugout for every at bat of every inning.

  37. @carol goldstein, Naughty zero key!! The mileage was of course SIXTY.

  38. Bill DeWitt....Dimwit more like it for trading the ‘old 30’ Robby

  39. When I was first following baseball as a young boy in the early 70s the one guy I felt like I just missed was F Robby. Would loved to have seen him in his prime. Like many greats, I think he struggled with managing those who couldn’t or wouldn’t give the same effort he brought. I would love to have seen him rip Machado or Harper new one for not running out a grounder or getting lost on the bases. Maybe when you are asking for $300M, go back and watch film of #20 of how to play the game hard and true every AB, every Inning. RIP Frank Robinson. You were one of those who made a difference and left it all on the field.

  40. I think the title should be changed to First black MLB Manager. I think it is important to recognise the Managers in the Negro Leagues. It wouldn’t reduce Frank’s contribution to baseball in general he was a great player and manager but the story may have been different if he had been born five years earlier.

  41. Bill Giles, the general manager of the Cincinnati Reds traded Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles in the winter of 1965-66 for Milt Pappas and Dick Simpson. The self-satisfied Giles said he was ridding the team of Robinson because he was “an old 30.” This after Robinson broke into the big leagues with the team in 1956 and smashed 38 home runs, tying a major league record for rookies. In 1966, Robinson got his own back by crushing the American League. He powered the mighty Orioles to the pennant on the strength of a triple crown performance, one not seen since 1956, when Mickey Mantle turned in the rare feat—leading the league in the three major hitting categories coveted by every hitter: batting average; home runs and runs batted in. Robinson crowned his great A.L. debut by leading the Orioles to a 4-0 sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who were defending their 1965 title. Robinson was also the first black manager in major league baseball, helming the Cleveland Indians. Intense and competitive to a rare degree, he soon found that his players could not match his will to win or his mania for perfection. When he departed Cleveland, the divorce was not pleasant. He resurrected his managerial career with the Orioles and very nearly took a historically poor team to the playoffs a year later. He managed the new Senators in his twilight years. He had a great career at the plate, in the field and in the dugout. He was a baseball treasure. He will be sorely missed.

  42. And that batting stance was tough. They tell a story that Walter Alston once signalled for Don Drysdale to intentionally walk Robby. So, Roseboro gives the 4 sign and stands up for the tosses. Drysdale calls time. Drysdale does not want to walk Robby and he hates that batting stance-right up to the plate and leaning over like that. Bout orders is orders. Drysdale throws the first pitch at Robby's head. Robby gets up, dusts himself off, and moves CLOSER TO THE PLATE. Drysdale dusts him again. And Robby stands up, AND MOVES CLOSER TO THE PLATE. Same thing on Ball 3. Ball 4 Robby gets ups, dusts himself off and trots down to first like it was nothing. Totally showed Drysdale who had the class there. man, he was a great player and tough guy.

  43. When I was a boy I was Frank Robinson when I played. I remained Frank Robinson through my teen years. Mr. Robinson was my first MLB hero idol. I saw him play with excellent five tools on the field and even more tools off the field. He done good. A real credit to his race...human.

  44. Being brought up in Winnipeg -- where, in grade school in the late 40's, we would suspend class activities during World series games so we could listen to the radio broadcast over the school classroom loudspeaker system! -- I didn't really develop an affinity for baseball until 1966. Living then in Baltimore, we got lucky; my wife had sent in a label from Gulden's mustard to some contest and received a pair of tickets in return. They were for the Twins-Orioles "twinighter" on Sept 30 (I just looked that up). The games were fantastic, with the other "Robinson brother", Brooks (that was an inside joke in Baltimore) on 3rd and making one of his jumping-horizontal-in-the-air catches of a line drive up the gap. How memorable was it? I'm now 80, various memories fade, but I can see that play in my mind to this day. Those were the first MLB games we saw live, a helluva opener. In the locker room after the 4th game of the World Series -- with which the Orioles won the series -- Bauer was asked what the Orioles would do for an encore next season. His answer: Next year we'll win it in THREE straight! Thanks for the memories, Frank, Brooks, Cal, Hank, and of course "Booog!" as the crowd would roar out when he came to the plate.

  45. Ultimate baseball compliment: between the lines, you just did not mess with this guy. Fearsome.

  46. Farewell Frank Robinson

  47. For me, he will always be that lean looking guy with the hard swing that played to win. Frank Robinson was a gamer.

  48. Back in the Orioles' Glory Days: Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Jim Palmer, Mike Cuellar, Davey Johnson, Mark Belanger, Luis Aparicio. "Go to War, Miss Agness!" Rest in Peace, Mr. Robinson.

  49. One of my all-time favorites. Shocked and disappointed when the Reds traded him to Baltimore. Thrilled when he took over in Cleveland.

  50. If you were a Rex Sox fan back in the day, the Orioles were even scarier than the Yankees, and the two Robinsons (and the pitchers) were the WORST. I was so glad when he stoppedplaying and just managed. He was quite a guy.

  51. We lost one of the great(est) ones.

  52. June 21, 1966 Robinson leaped into short porch at Yankee Stadium to rob a game winning home run from Roy White. Tremendous argument ensued as he came out with the ball but did he catch it? Umps said he did. I met him in 2000 (34 years later) and asked him if he caught it. Wouldn't tell me.

  53. Respect and love to the family of my all time favorite ballplayer.

  54. It's interesting that Frank Robinson and Bill Russell both attended the same small (about 300 students) public high school, McClymonds, in Oakland. Russell was the first black head coach in the NBA and Robinson the first black manager in MLB. The school continues to produce a disproportionate share of acclaimed achievers.

  55. A gentleman both on and off the field. A role model for all young athletes of every racial background. A proud American who can be warmly remembered for all of his accomplishments both on and off the field. RIP Mr. Robinson.

  56. I was listening to that game on the radio against my Senators when Frank hit two grand slams. Much as you hate when your team loses, you had to admire Frank Robinson - for his devastating hitting, and because he was a class act.

  57. When I was 16 years old I was attending the Cincinnati Conservatory summer program for high school students and my roommate and I decided to go to a Reds game in Crosby Field[?] ' Huge old park. They were playing the Dodgers and Sandy Koufax was pitching. He was just mowing down the Reds until one inning when Robinson came to bat and connected with his fast ball. Man that ball traveled to dead center and almost made it out caught at the wall. It was the only ball that had a chance to get out and of course Koufax won but the greatest thrill was watching that ball sail through the sky ...

  58. This Marylander cut her baseball teeth on that great Orioles era. I can still recite the entire line-up. What a player, what a fine human. And I still love baseball.

  59. I attended the Indians season opener in 1975 and saw Frank Robinson hit the home run in his first at-bat as player-manager. I think it was the most thrilling moment in sports I have witnessed in person. I remember hearing the crack of the bat, watching Robinson round the bases, and thinking how unexpected and amazing it was.

  60. My first baseball game as a kid. Frank Robinson in his first game as manager for my beloved Indians. If I’m not mistaken, I think he homered

  61. As a kid growing up in Baltimore and being an avid Orioles fan, I thought Frank Robinson to be the most complete ballplayer I could imagine. His intensity, talent and team leadership propelled the Orioles to greatness. As a little leaguer, I would sometimes dive into the base headfirst just like #20. Fifty years later, he's still my favorite all time player and I can still imitate his batting stance. Thank you, Frank Robinson for giving me great memories that have lasted a lifetime.

  62. He was part of the "great awakening" of the National League in the 50's to sign black and Latino players. This continued into the 60's, and the American League was woefully slow to follow the NL lead. Mays, Aaron, Frank Robinson, Banks, Clemente, McCovey, Cepeda, Gibson, Stargell, Pinson, Flood -- they followed Jackie, Campy, and Newcombe. These great players changed the game with their combination of speed, hitting for average, power, and fielding -- and in Gibson's case, all-out projection of terror to the hitters. No wonder the NL dominated the All-Star Game (when it actually had some meaning) for so long. Frank Robinson was well-respected and always commanded the room when he spoke. Goodbye, Frank, you and your accomplishments will not be forgotten.

  63. A household name player in an era of only eight teams per league, when many players loomed large. What a day it was when a Koufax or Mays came to Philadelphia's old Connie Mack Stadium, where a box seat along the baseline, the most expensive, cost $3.50. As a kid, those players were giants to me. Today's players seem like adolescents. Ubi sunt?

  64. Erratum - Robinson was traded to the Dodgers before the *1972* season, not the 1971 season. (Recall that he played for the Orioles in the 1971 World Series against the Pirates.)

  65. Robinson played the game as the game should be played. Ave & Thanks...

  66. Frank Robinson- a class by himself - thank you for the memories!

  67. I'm 70 and a baseball fan for nearly 65 of those years, raised in N.Y. in the three team era. That tells you the scope of the players I've seen. Frank was in the top 5 all time. As Sandy Koufax has said"Frank was a great ball player and a tremendous competitor. He beat you any way he could". Look around today, with the smaller parks and endless pitching changes and name five guys as good as Frank. In N.Y. or L.A. he's righ there with Mantle and Mays.

  68. Having grown up, a white guy, in Cleveland I am still, to this day, confused by blackface nonsense, prejudice / racism. Even though my own father at times tried to fan those flames in our family, he knew he was wrong ( and at times told us so). We learned to chart our own path of acceptance and knowledge that we are all cut from the same cloth.(thanks, Mom) But why I mention Cleveland is that we had pretty good examples throughout history of leaders like Frank Robinson, Larry Doby, Satchel Paige, Jesse Owens, Robert Lockwood Jr., Jim Brown, Carl Stokes, Halle Berry, Lebron James. Thanks to the all pioneers who have led us to becoming a better one nation, under God ... etc.

  69. No. 1 clutch hitter of all time, a true American hero. The best of the best. RIP.

  70. An informative piece about an exemplary man and outstanding athlete. Doubtful that his achievements will ever be repeated. I’d be curious to know what his highest salary was compared to the crazy payoff even mediocre players receive today.

  71. One of the undisputed, all-time greats.

  72. Thank you Mr. Goldstein for such a wonderful tribute to such a legendary player. Seeing the picture of Frank Robinson and Hank Aaron sent shivers down my back - those were the days. We'll miss you Frank, but never forget you.

  73. Since he played in the Mays and Aaron era he was somewhat overshadowed. But make no mistake he was one of the all time greats. 586 HRs. Triple Crown. 1,812 RBI. nine .300 seasons. Recognized as a leader by team mates and coaches. Not even he Yankees could have afforded him today. Thank you for the memories and RIP.

  74. Pity he fell just short of 3,000 hits and 600 homers. Anyway, he’s only one rung below Aaron and Mays in terms of all around super stardom.

  75. Oh man, how he used to demolish my Tigers (except in 68). RIP Frank. So many memories watching you on the game of the week on Saturday. That man could do it all.

  76. "Robinson made his debut as the majors’ first black manager with the Cleveland Indians on April 8, 1975, 28 years after Jackie Robinson (no relation) first took the field with the Dodgers. Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s widow, threw out the ceremonial first ball. Frank Robinson, who was still an active player, punctuated the historic occasion by hitting a home run in his first at-bat, as the designated hitter, leading the Indians to a 5-3 victory over the Yankees." I was in the bleachers - seats were 50 cents.

  77. I visited a friend in Cincinnati during a world series between the Reds and Baltimore. The picture of Robinson batting is one I saw at that series . I will never forget that night. RIP Mr. Robinson.

  78. I was at the game in Yankee Stadium in 1966 when Frank Robinson dove over the short right field wall to rob Roy White of a game winning home run. A riot erupted and hundreds of fans, myself included, streamed onto the field.

  79. What an amazing athlete! Frank Robinson inspired his team mates and a zillion fans, and set a fine example of leadership in so many ways. As an avid Baltimore Orioles fan for decades, I thoroughly enjoyed this profile and tribute to one of baseball's greatest men.

  80. As a beginning staff photographer for UPI at spring training, I couldn't get the Giants players to come in from the field to get their headshots done. An older gentleman went one at a time out there to make them come in and when I had the whole team, I asked, "Where is Frank Robinson?" Of course it was he, and we became friends for the twenty years I worked for UPI and AP. He was such a raconteur and had a biting sense of humor. I loved talking to him. I will always miss him.

  81. Here is to you, Mr Robinson. A wonderful obituary. Folks like Mr Robinson make baseball good and America great.

  82. Frank Robinson was an incredible ballplayer. I believe he's the only person to have his number retired by THREE different teams. In addition to him being the only player to win the Triple Crown in both leagues. I got his autograph on 42nd St in NYC one lunchtime. He was walking down the street nonchalantly, no one paying him any attention and I walked up to him and asked him if he was Frank Robinson. He nodded as we walked together and I asked him for his autograph and he smiled and signed my business card (only thing I had on me for him to sign). I thanked him and he nodded and continued walking. I think he appreciated it, but also wanted to be left alone. RIP Mr. Robinson!

  83. When baseball finally returned to DC in 2005, we were so privileged to have Frank Robinson as the Nationals' first manager. Despite the fact that the team was "owned" at the time by Major League Baseball and everything was being done on a shoestring, he managed the team with grace and professionalism. While all of baseball benefitted from Frank Robinson's career in the game, as a Nationals fan I will always be grateful for his great dedication in the team's first two years.

  84. Such a great, great player who somehow never really got his due, playing in the shadow of Mays, Aaron and Mantle.

  85. I came of age as a baseball fan in the glory years of the Baltimore Orioles, rooting for the team that played where I had lived as a young boy. Frank Robinson, perhaps like Reggie Jackson, was the straw that stirred the drink of those great teams. Until the Birds moved to Camden Yards, there was a plaque at Memorial Stadium showing where Robinson hit a ball completely out of the park…

  86. Slight correction. In reading another article about the great man, I learned the plaque I mentioned was actually a simple flag, emblazoned with the word “Here.”

  87. I am too young, unfortunately, to ever have seen Frank Robinson play live. Luckily, however, having been graced with two parents and two older brothers who were all die-hard baseball fans and who did get to see him play, in person and on television, I heard my share of stories of the type of player he was and, even more so, the type of man he was. I recall reading that when he was managing the Washington Nationals one of his players asked him if he had ever played big league baseball and just how dismayed Robinson was at his own player's ignorance of baseball's history. I imagine that hearing that question must have broken his heart - at least a little. An incredible career was but one part of what was a wonderful, extraordinary life. Condolences to those he loved and those who loved him most of all.

  88. i loved watching frank robinson play baseball. and i thought he LOOKED the way a ball player should look. a ferocious competitor and one of the greatest 'stick it in your ear' seasons in baseball history after the reds traded him to the orioles because he was old for his age. all he did was win the triple crown. and help the orioles to an unexpected four game sweep of the dodgers who had koufax, drysdale, podres and some decent position players.

  89. When I was a kid, my heroes in order were Brooks, Hank and Frank... ...and for some reason a no hit shortstop for Cleveland, Frank Duffy (figure this one out!). A little piece of my heart broke reading this fine article...but if you want to learn more about Frank, read his autobiography. He was a smart, ambitious, and caring guy.

  90. Frank Robinson was simply the best. I say this as a life long Cardinal fan.

  91. My dad was already 76, I was 30 when we went to that opening game on that cold April day at the Cleveland Municipal Stadium. I don’t remember what pitch he hit, but it was definitely early in the count. May have even been the first pitch. The stadium erupted! My dad was probably showing early signs of Alzheimer’s and it got too cold for him and we left in the 6th inning. But I remember, my dad being a ferocious Indians baseball fan, he wanted to be at that opening day game to see the first black manager. That home run was just icing on the cake.

  92. Another great player I grew up watching has gone. He played the game the way it should be, always giving his best.

  93. Frank Robinson. A great player, manager and role model. Rest In Peace, Peace. I very much hope there is baseball in heaven.

  94. Among the best players of all time and a true gentleman. Neither a Yankee nor a West Coast icon, Robinson was indeed a "Working Man's" champion. Not Maquire, Sosa, or Bonds will ever become such a hero.

  95. “Robinson was traded by the Orioles to the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 1971 season and later played with the California Angels and briefly with the Indians. After being named manager, he continued to play as a designated hitter.” Robinson was traded *after* the 1971 season, not before it. It’s an important point, because without his bat (2 HRs with an .877 OPS) in the 1971 World Series facing an otherworldly Roberto Clemente that autumn, the Orioles would have definitely not been able to take the Pirates to 7 games.

  96. While so many things in this country are bleak right now, let’s remember that there are also many many people like Frank here too. We are lucky to wake up every day in the same country as them. Their lives should inspire us to be better. We should not spend so much time focusing on the people we would rather resemble the least.

  97. When you look at Mr Robinson's resume, particularly the fact that he is the "only" player to have won MVP in both leagues, a strong argument can be made that he can be mentioned as one of the 3 best baseball players that has ever lived. What a great player, competitor, person.

  98. I lived in Cincinnati from 1954-61 having immigrated there as a high school student from South America. My new friends were avid Redlegs fans and introduced me to the sport (recall that the Reds changed their name during the McCarthy era- absurd but true) I attended many of the games some truly exceptional with the likes of Warren Spahn, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale pitching and challenging the best of Franky' hitting skills. I was fortunate to meet him prior to a game when I brought a bunch of fraternity pledges to Crosley Field and Fred Hutchinson (a fraternity brother from another chapter), the manager of the Reds introduced us to the team. It left a great impression on the pledges, but a huge and a memorable one on me. Hearing of Franks death today saddened me, but also invoked some great memories.

  99. A great player from a vanished era for baseball. In the days before free agency, switching leagues was a big deal. You just didn't see top position players move from the AL to the NL or vice versa while in their prime. Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Hank Aaron, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle--all played their entire or virtually their entire careers in one league (Aaron played two years in the AL with the Brewers after turning 40 and having spent his first 21 seasons with the Braves in the NL). Robinson's move to the Orioles in 1966 was epochal and daring in a way that will never be repeated in the modern era. Also, Frank Robinson's death reminded me of how much things have changed in terms of baseball's demographics. Among African-Americans under 30 years of age today, my sense is that interest in baseball is low to nonexistent. We're never again going to see so many African-Americans players of such high caliber who dominated the game in Robinson's time.

  100. My worst Frank Robinson memory: In about 1969, I saw the old Washington Senators (I was a masochistic Senators fan) play the O's at old Memorial Stadium. Last of the ninth, and Robinson hits a three-run homer down the left-field line to clinch the game for Baltimore, 5-3 . Except that it was a foul ball, called fair because the third-base ump got confused by some mirrors near the foul line. Earl Weaver knew it was foul, so he hustled his team off the field in record time. The Senators were livid. Not Frank Robinson, however, who skipped into the dugout with a huge grin on his face.

  101. The world tilts off its axis. Seriously, with all respect, everything and everyone has an ending, but this deserves so much more than.

  102. Frank Robinson embodied so much of and about the pursuit of excellence. That he was not white, or that he was an African American...or “just” a human being, never diminished any standard to which he held himself and others. He was a beast and a blessing. I don’t know any other way to describe a guy who was so competitive and compassionate.

  103. Don’t let the passage of time obscure how great a player Frank Robinson. Was. He was gooooooooooooood. Such a clutch hitter.

  104. As a Cincinnati kid, Frank Robinson was my boyhood baseball hero. I was sad the day the Reds traded him to Baltimore, and even sadder today when I learned of his passing. Rest In Peace, Frank, and thanks.

  105. I got to watch Frank Robinson play one time, in Oakland in 1969. The A's and Orioles were playing a double header, with the A's winning the first game 9-0, and the nightcap 9-8 that went 18 innings. Frank Robinson and Brooks Robinson were the mainstays of the Orioles' team back then. The A's had a young slugger named Reggie Jackson who would chase Babe Ruth's 60-home run record the first half of the season, and hit the overhead light transformer at Tiger Stadium during the All-star game. That was during the pitchers' era, too.

  106. As a new teen, I had the pleasure of observing Mr. Robinson, albeit as a fan of the other side. I've always had great respect for him and was grateful to read this article. RIP Mr. Robinson.

  107. Correction: He was traded from the Orioles after the 1971 season, not before. Otherwise he couldn’t have helped them win the 1971 AL pennant.

  108. Thank you Robby. RIP

  109. We were big fans of Brooks Robinson in my family, but when Frank came to Baltimore and electrified the O's my mother gave his picture equal space on the refrigerator. She always called them the Robinson Boys, which led my grandmother--not a fan--to ask "Are they brothers?"--a light moment in those racially charged times.

  110. @brent I remember that the two did a beer commercial which played on their name and how to tell them apart.

  111. As a kid from Cherry Hill, NJ - Phillie fans, my family moved to Maryland in the late '60s. We got to see the Orioles - and Frank Robinson during those great years. Made me love baseball - we just loved him from then on. Bless his soul.

  112. Rest In Peace, a great ballplayer and an even greater human being, you carried yourself the right way and made me fall in love with the game of baseball even more. Godspeed Frank.

  113. Back in that bygone era before 24/7 streaming sports, we only had our hometown heros to see in person. Growing up in Baltimore and becoming aware of the Orioles at the same time as their peak was happening in the late 60s (still can't get past those 1969 Miracle Mets), I thought Frank Robinson to be the most complete player. He was also a tremendous leader, playing through injuries and striking fear into the opposing pitchers. Make him mad...he'd hit a home run. When I was a kid playing little league, I'd figure if Frank Robinson could slide head first into second base then I should too. After my first time, I realized I was no Frank Robinson ! There will never be another #20 like Frank, my favorite Oriole and my favorite player...even after 50 years.

  114. This lifelong Reds fan saw Robinson his rookie year and beyond until the stupid trade. Him and “Big Klu” were my were my favorite Reds into my teens. After the trade it didn’t take long to hear that the “old 30” reason for being traded was a cover. Robbie was never an obsequious man and his being black and even a tad “uppity” during the heydays of the Civil Rights Movement didn’t help him keep his job in very conservative Cincinnati. It was the same team rumored to have traded Curt Flood to the Cardinals because management believed that the fans wouldn’t accept an all black outfield with him, Robinson and Vada Pinson. But of course we’ll never know. RIP, Robbie. Thanks for my memories and you will always be among the greats.

  115. @RDG... Yes...Cincinnati was considered a Southern city culturally during his time as a Red. Then he gets traded (there was no player freedom prior to the Seitz Decision) to another Southern city, Baltimore. My hometown was slightly more accommodating due to the Colts excellence in the previous decade with black stars. And Frank's huge part in his first season with the Orioles (with the hated Yankees finishing last!) winning it all sealed his status.

  116. Aside from what he brought to the game as a player and manager Frank Robinson was a class act on and off the field and deserving of every accolade he received during and after his baseball career. I had the privilege of watching him play and will always remember his aggressive at the plate and his excellence in the outfield. As the second Robinson to make history in the major leagues, he will always be remembered not only for his talent as a player but, equally important, for what he brought to the many people who had the honor of knowing him. May he rest in peace.

  117. He was simply the best player in baseball in 1966 and that is saying something because he was playing in the era of Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente and Hank Aaron. He won the triple crown that year, which doesn't happen very often. Because of him the Orioles were the best team in baseball between 1966-1971 when they were in the World Series four out of six consecutive years. He was feared. I lived in Oakland for 25 years. He grew up there along with Joe Morgan, Willie Stargell and Bill Russell. When I moved there he had just been hired as manager of the SF Giants. He was a pretty good manager and won manager of the year at Baltimore one year, but his greatness was achieved on the field and not in the dugout. He was a proud, dignified man and will be missed.

  118. I was a Pirates fan in 1971. The 1971 world series had the Pirates and the Orioles. The Pirates had Roberto Clemente and the Orioles were just a great team. Clemente was amazing but Frank Robinson was scary good. Robinson had a great series.

  119. Frank Robinson's passing is a reminder of staggering change in American professional sports. In Robinson's rookie season (1956), there were 3 baseball teams in New York and the first African-American to play in the majors in the 20th century (Jackie Robinson) was still active. Baseball was king. Professional basketball and football were sideshows. Back then, a "super bowl" probably meant a really good cup of soup. By the time Robinson managed an MLB team for the last time a full half-century later (2006 Washington Nationals), baseball was well on its way to becoming what it is today--still popular, but like ice hockey more of a niche sport in the U.S. that is actually more popular in several places outside the U.S. mainland--such as Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Japan, South Korea, and Mexico. Not to take anything away from the many great Latino players who have come to utterly dominate baseball, but it is unfortunate that interest in baseball among young native-born black and white Americans has fallen off a cliff. But all the more reason, I'd say, to appreciate the performance of men like Frank Robinson who played the game when it had almost no competition for fans and ruled the U.S. sports world.

  120. Frank was my favorite player of All Time. I remember following him and the Orioles throughout those years in the 60s and early 70s when great baseball was being played. When the Orioles went on the road i would listen to games on the radio and Frank was hitting the ball all over the field. Ground-rule doubles, hits off the wall in left,center and right field, going 3 for 4 with 2 homers in many games.Stealing bases and throwing runners out. This was happening on any given night. If i'm not mistaken Frank was the first player to hit a ball clean out of Memorial Stadium. Left the yard and landed in the parking lot. Many great memories of one of the greats. RIP Frank.

  121. It is a sad day to hear about one of baseball’s elite and pioneering players has passed. Frank Robinson was not just a great baseball play, he was a brave soul, who rose to prominence, in an era, where it was still exceptionally difficult to excel, for any player of color. Thank you Frank Robinson for your bravery and sharing your talent with the world! #FrankRobinsonrestinpeace

  122. Frank had the highest level of ability,positve attitude, leadership, class, and handled it with grace. I cannot think of any other athlete that did it as well. Even his interviews were a thing of class. The Orioles had great players on a great team with excellent ownership and management.

  123. He wasn't about stats. He was about winning. He ended his career just shy of 600 home runs and 3,000 hits. He later said if he had known it was going to be such a big deal he would have stuck around another year. He need not have worried. His legacy was never in doubt as one of the greatest players in the history of the game.

  124. What I remember is a magazine in 1959 asking who would be the All-Stars ten years later. Most all had Frank Robinson, but one did not. When asked why not, he said he could not be sure Frank would not end his career slamming into an unpadded outfield wall in the bottom of the ninth with his team up by ten runs with nobody on base.

  125. What a ball player! He was more than a gifted athlete, he was an inspiration to a generation of young men and women. And he made it look so easy, which belied his hard work ethic and intense drive. A great athlete. A great man.

  126. What is there left to say about Frank Robinson but that he was justly lauded as a supremely gifted baseball player and manager who delighted millions with his hustle and ability on the baseball diamond. As someone who appreciates excellence in any field of endeavor I applaud his life and pass on condolences to his wife and family. May he rest in peace

  127. Aside from Mays and Aaron, I always thought that Robinson was the most complete player who ever played. One of my favorite ballplayers. Sad day.

  128. Frank is in the inner circle of the inner circle of the all time greats of the game. As a kid my heroes were Willie Mays, Frank Robinson and Carl Yastrzemski. I am sad to see Frank pass but I rejoice in the joy he brought this one time kid

  129. An All-Star team consisting of Mays. Aaron, Clemente in the outfield - we needed to use softball rules as Robinson certainly would be included among them, perhaps in short-center. Those of us lucky enough to enjoy those players are forever grateful to them.

  130. Red Sox fan here. Robinson on the Orioles was tough. A great player and a great example to all ballplayers.

  131. This is a big loss. You can bet Willie, Hank, and Sandy are full of fond memories tonight. Frank Robinson was magnificent!

  132. In the summer of 1960 my family visited my uncle in Los Angeles and he took my father and me to my first major league game. The Dodgers played the Reds in the Coliseum. Dodger Stadium had not been built. I saw two home runs hit that night by two great stars, Duke Snider and Frank Robinson. I am sad to learn of Mr. Robinson’s passing and thankful for the memories he provided to fans of baseball.

  133. I remember the flag that said “HERE” at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore which showed where a home run ball hit by Frank Robinson went completely out of the ball park! I was lucky to have seen him play as an Oriole. Thanks and Rest In Peace.

  134. Frank Robinson looks as beautiful and modern in this photo as he did when it was taken. A timeless class act.

  135. Robinson made everything on the baseball field look easy. Hitting, running, fielding, he could do them all well, and he did. He was the smoothest and most fluid player I ever saw.

  136. The trade that sent Robinson to the Orioles was far from "one of baseball's most one-sided deals"as described in the article. Milt Pappas continued to be a productive pitcher for many years after the trade, winning 99 games in the National League. The trade was hardly in the Ernie Broglio for Lou Brock class. As to that 1966 Oriole pitching staff. The real heroes were not the four starting pitchers named in the article but the bullpen which included Stu Miller, Eddie Watt, Dick Hall and Moe Drabowsky who in the Worlds Series had perhaps the greatest relief appearance in the history of the series. The article might also have mentioned the challenges Robinson faced when he moved to Baltimore. He had difficulty purchasing a home in a decent neighborhood. The owner of the Orioles Jerry Hoffberger helped him out with this and had Robinson's children enrolled in the same school as Hoffberger's which I, too, attended when both men's children were there.

  137. I grew up in Baltimore in the 60's and there has never been, nor will there ever be, a greater team that the late 60's Orioles with Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Jim Palmer (sigh), Dave Mcnally, Paul Blair, and others. In elementary school, during the world series, the Principal would come on the loud speaker between periods to give a game update, and for the final game, all the class got to watch the game on TV. On Sunday, the minister had a whole sermon on the series with each game teaching a lesson about moral values. Also - all the players were just so nice!

  138. 1964. Phillies with a 6.5 lead with 12 to play. A 0-0 game in the sixth. Reds have two outs, Chico Ruiz on third, and Robinson at the plate. Ruiz steals home, against all odds - because Robinson is at the plate. Reds win 1-0 on Ruiz's steal. Phils lose 10 and miss the World Series by 1 game Philly's never fully recovered. Did I mention - Robinson was at the plate.

  139. I grew up in Baltimore. I was 6 when the Birds swept the ‘66 series. When Paul Blair caught the last out of game 4 to clinch I was sitting on the floor in front of the TV. I remember that vividly. It’s because of Frank that I have that memory. There was Frank, Boog, Brooks and Blair, but it was Frank that made the Birds champions and made us proud to be a Baltimorean. He was great. My boyhood baseball idol. I copied his batting stance and remember his trot on the field. I walked regularly to Memorial Stadium and sat along the right field line to see Frank play. He’ll hold kangaroo court in heaven just like he conducted on 33rd Street in Memorial Stadium.