Baseball legend Frank Robinson dies and social media cries


Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1982, with 89.2 percent of the vote.

"Heartbreaking news in the passing of my Dear Friend & @McClymondsHS classmate Frank Robinson", Russell, who became the first black head coach in the National Basketball Association, tweeted.

Per the New York Daily News, Robinson died after a battle with bone cancer. He had been in hospice care at his home in Bel Air.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement noting Robinson was "a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations".

Throughout his legendary career, Robinson hit 586 home runs and earned 14 All-Star appearances.

In his first season in Baltimore, Robinson showed he still had plenty left in his 30-year-old body as he was named the AL MVP following a 1966 campaign in which he won baseball's Triple Crown.

Robinson won his first MVP in 1961 when he helped lead the Cincinnati Reds to their first pennant in 21 years.

But his place in the sport's history extended far beyond the batter's box and basepaths.

"With the Cleveland Indians in 1975, Frank turned Jackie Robinson's hopes into a reality when he became the first African-American manager in baseball history".

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Robinson worked as an executive with Major League Baseball after he finished managing and for a time oversaw the annual Civil Rights Game. In the first inning, he homered off Doc Medich and the crowd went insane, cheering the whole April afternoon as Cleveland beat the Yankees. He took over the Montreal Expos in 2002 and moved with the team to D.C. for the 2005 season.

If it's any kind of baseball laurel, Frank Robinson probably won it.

"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.

Born in Beaumont, Texas, Robinson was raised in west Oakland where he attended McClymonds High School along with future NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell. But it was on the diamond, rather than court, where fame awaited Robinson. He won the Triple Crown with the Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in Major League Baseball history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians. He would again win a World Series title in 1970. "Played the game tough, hard but fair".

"Pitchers did me a favor when they knocked me down", Robinson said.

I've had the privilege of traveling the world for more than two decades.

But it was as a slugger that Robinson may be best remembered. "It was just a move at the time, at that moment, I just felt like I had to do it for the good of the ballclub, to try to win that ballgame".

Robinson broke in with a bang as a 20-year-old big leaguer. It was the only home run anyone ever hit out of long-gone Memorial Stadium. He made 13 All-Star teams. -Frank Robinson in October 2006, at the end his managerial tenure in Washington, his 51st season as a player, manager or club executive.

The Orioles confirmed Robinson's passing Thursday afternoon. And while he never led his league in a Triple Crown category other than in 1966 when he managed it in all three, he led his league in slugging percentage, OPS and OPS+ four times, including three years in a row (1960-62). Then, just a few days later, he passed away in Los Angeles.