Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson died Thursday after battling a long illness at his home in California, Major League Baseball announced. A prodigious slugger, Robinson ranks 10th of all time with 586 homers and remains the only player to win MVP awards in both leagues. Robinson responded by winning the Triple Crown and his second MVP award in 1966, his first season in Baltimore.
As a player manager, Robinson hit a home run in his first at-bat.
A legendary outfielder, Robinson played for five teams and managed four during his half-a-century in the league.
Robinson's number 20 from his playing days has been retired by the Orioles, Reds and Indians and all three franchises have dedicated bronze statues to the trailblazer outside of their respective stadiums.
After his career in the dugout, Robinson filled a variety of roles with the league and all the while tirelessly advocated for more opportunities for African-Americans in baseball.
Robinson was the NL MVP with Cincinnati in 1961 and Baltimore in 1966.
Robinson also led the Orioles to another World Series title in 1970. The drive came against Cleveland ace Luis Tiant and the spot where the ball sailed over the left-field wall was marked by a flag that read "HERE" that remained in place until the Orioles left for Camden Yards in 1991. His World Series MVP performance capped off one of the greatest individual seasons in baseball history.More news: Thai princess running for prime minister in historic first
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"Knowing what he's done out beyond baseball and being the first black manager and then working at the commissioner's office, I like what he did after he retired", Horton said.
Robinson had 94 hits in 270 at-bats and added 20 doubles and six triples while driving in 83 runs.
Robinson batted.316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs during his first season in Birdland. He also managed the Orioles (1988-91) and the Expos/Nationals (2002-06), compiling a career record of 1,065-1,176 (.475) across all or parts of 16 seasons. He garnered Manager of the Year honors with the O's in 1989 when the Orioles improved their win total by more than 30 games and missed making the ALCS by just two games.
"We mourn the loss of Hall of Famer and Orioles Legend Frank Robinson", the Orioles wrote in a short statement on Twitter.
"Guys wanted to sign with Baltimore and go play with him", Horton said. Over that span, his teams went 1,065-1,176 (.475).
While Robinson was fiery on the field, he was even more so off it as he fought for civil rights for much of his playing career especially once he moved to Baltimore. "After the vote, he said, 'Jay, you're fined for not voting.' Everybody laughed". He is survived by his wife Barbara and their two children.