“Pitchers did me a favor when they knocked me down. It made me more determined.”
Frank Robinson is the only man to win the Most Valuable Player Award in both Major Leagues (1961 with the Cincinnati Reds; 1966 with the Baltimore Orioles). Frank Robinson belted 586 home runs in 20 plus seasons in the Major Leagues. Robinson played for the Reds, Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels, and Cleveland Indians. Robinson became Major League Baseball’s first African American Manager when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians in 1975. In addition to managing the Indians, Robinson piloted the San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles, and Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals. Frank Robinson was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1982.
Frank Robinson was a great competitor. He excelled when he first made it to the Major Leagues in 1956, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Robinson was an aggressive player who slid hard at all times. The Reds traded him to the Orioles prior to the 1966 season saying he was “an old 30.” He responded by winning the Triple Crown and leading the Orioles to their first World Championship. Robinson was a 14 time All-Star. When you watched him bat, it was as if he “dominated” home plate. He crowded the plate and dared pitchers to pitch inside. He got hit with pitched balls often, but never backed down. He was a winner.
Robinson also managed in the Major Leagues for 15 years. He was the American League Manager of the Year with the Orioles in 1989. Frank Robinson passed away recently; he forged a trail of greatness and will not be forgotten.