Frank Robinson (1935-2019), trailblazing Major League Baseball manager and Hall of Fame player

A note sent to Steven Goff by Frank Robinson when Goff was 10 years old

"Frank Robinson and I were more than baseball buddies", Hank Aaron tweeted.

It was reported last week that Robinson, Major League Baseball's first black manager, was in the late stages of a long battle with bone cancer.

But, over six decades as a 14 time all-star, two-time league MVP, two-time World Series champion and baseball's last triple-crown victor, Robinson ascended as an integral figure in MLB's pantheon.

"Frank Robinson's résumé in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations". He went on to make 14 All-Star game appearances, and now ranks 10th on the all-time home run list with 586. As a member of the Baltimore Orioles, he became the 11th player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs. His World Series MVP performance capped off one of the greatest individual seasons in baseball history. "Baseball will miss a tremendous human being".

Robinson ranks 10th in baseball history with 586 career homers and won MVP awards in both the National and American Leagues. An All-Star outfielder in 12 seasons, his legacy extended far beyond the batter's box. He also became the first African-American manager when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians in October 1974. Later, Robinson spent several years working as an executive for Major League Baseball. In the first inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went insane, cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees.

Robinson's No. 20 is retired by the Reds, Orioles and Giants.

Robinson was born in Beaumont, Texas, but grew up in Oakland, California, where in his high school he was captain of a state championship basketball team, with Bill Russell - who would go on to be the first black manager in the NBA - as his teammate. He was the manager for the Montreal Expos when the franchise relocated to Washington, D.C. and became the Nationals in 2005.

"It was a breaking period for black people coming into baseball, and how many followed depended on Jackie's conduct", he said, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Horton has only seen one other baseball player with the same on-field intensity and likable personality off it - the Tigers' own Kirk Gibson.

Robinson had been in hospice care at his home in Los Angeles.

"We learned that the best way to get back at them was to beat them on the field", Robinson, who joined the majors in 1956, said of entering the league. Robinson was awarded "for his extraordinary achievements as a baseball player and manager for setting a lasting example of character and athletics".

Starting out in an era when Mays, Aaron, Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams were the big hitters, Robinson more than held his own over 21 seasons. At the end of the 1966 season, Robinson also earned his second league Most Valuable Player award.

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