Frank Robinson

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Frank Robinson (born August 31, 1935 in Beaumont, Texas), was a Major League Baseball player and is currently the manager of the Washington Nationals.

Robinson had a very successful career with five teams: Cincinnati Reds (1956 - 1965), Baltimore Orioles (1966 - 1971), Los Angeles Dodgers (1972), California Angels (1973 - 1974) and Cleveland Indians (1974 - 1976). He was a member of two teams that won the World Series, the 1966 and 1970 Baltimore Orioles. Robinson was given the World Series MVP Award in 1966. He was named Most Valuable Player twice, in 1961 with the Reds and again in 1966 with the Orioles, becoming the first player to win MVP awards in both leagues. In 1956, as a member of The Cincinnati reds, he hit 38 Home Runs (a then rookie record) and was named Rookie Of The Year. In 1966 he hit for the Triple Crown, leading the American League with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs and 122 runs batted in. In 1966, he was honored with the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year. His career totals include a .294 average, 586 home runs, 1812 runs batted in, and 2808 games played.

Template:MLB HoF Frank Robinson became the first black manager of a Major League Baseball team, when he was a player-manager with Cleveland in 1975. He managed the Cleveland Indians (1975 - 1977), San Francisco Giants (1981 - 1984), Baltimore Orioles (1988 - 1991) and Montreal Expos (2002 - 2004). When the Expos relocated to Washington, D.C. after the 2004 season, Robinson followed them there, becoming manager of the new Washington Nationals starting in 2005.

Robinson's managerial record, through the 2005 season, is 994-1085, a .478 record. He was awarded the American League Manager of the Year Award in 1989 for leading the Baltimore Orioles to an 87-75 record, a huge turnaround from their previous season in which they went 54-101. After spending some years in Major League Baseball as the Director of Discipline, MLB offered the former manager the chance to manage the Expos.

Robinson's style of managing is somewhat controversial. In 2005, the Montreal Gazette's Stephanie Myles reported that he had spent much time playing golf during his years in Montreal. The septuagenarian sometimes spent 16 hour days between the course and the games at night. This practice came under heightened scrutiny in the American capital. In addition, he has occasionally been caught talking on a cell phone during his team's games. Also, some journalists have questioned his lack of use of statistics to determine pitching match-ups with his hitting line-ups. Robinson defended his style of managing by saying that he goes by his "gut feeling".

In 1982, Frank Robinson was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Robinson is also a member of the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame, being inducted in 1978.

He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom on November 9, 2005 [1].

Trivia

  • Except for 1972, when the Dodgers gave Robinson uniform 36, he wore uniform number 20 on all his teams.
  • In high school (McClymonds, Oakland, California), Robinson was a basketball teammate of future NBA great Bill Russell.
  • In response to several death threats during his playing days, Robinson carried a gun for a time and in 1961 he was arrested for brandishing it at a cook who refused to serve him.
  • In 2005, one of Robinson's Nationals players asked him in all seriousness, if he had ever played in the majors. This was reported on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel as an illustration of how little some current players are aware of the history of the game.

Notes

^  2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients.

External links

es:Frank Robinson ja:フランク・ロビンソン