Willie Horton On Frank Robinson: 'I Looked Up To This Man'

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-Frank Robinson in October 2006, at the end his managerial tenure in Washington, his 51st season as a player, manager or club executive. MLBTR extends its condolences to the Hall of Famer's family, friends, and many acquaintances around the game.

Frank Robinson, one of the greatest players in Major League Baseball history, passed away on Thursday at the age of 83.

After a standout playing career, Robinson went on to manage the Indians, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals over 16 Major League Baseball seasons. He ultimately appeared in 21 campaigns, compiling an eye-popping.294/.389/.537 lifetime batting line in 11,742 trips to the plate.

His 586 home runs rank 10th most all-time.

Robinson's legendary run as a player only tells part of his story.

Robinson fulfilled his quest to become the first African-American manager in the big leagues when he was hired by the Cleveland Indians.

In 1974, the Cleveland Indians made Robinson MLB's first black manager while he was still an active player. He advocated for more minorities throughout baseball and worked with former Commissioner Bud Selig to develop the Selig Rule, directing teams to interview at least one minority candidate before hiring a new manager.

Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1982, with 89.2 percent of the vote. Statues of Robinson stand outside the Reds' Great American Ball Park, the Orioles' Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Indians' Progressive Field.

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Robinson also made history as the first Most Valuable Player of both the National and American Leagues, earned the 1966 AL Triple Crown and World Series MVP honours, and was a centrepiece of two World Series-winning Baltimore teams. The Baltimore Sun recently reported that Robinson was in the late stages of a long illness.

A no-nonsense guy, Robinson also had a sharp wit.

A 12-time All-Star according to the Hall of Fame, Robinson began his career with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956, when he won National League Rookie of the Year honors.

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

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

One Sunday in a long-ago spring, sudden lightning cracked from Frank Robinson's bat, and in a few electric seconds, one of Baltimore's greatest legends was born. Robinson was sacked 37 games into the 1991 season.

Robinson went on to manage five teams, including the Orioles from 1988 to 1991 and the Nationals for the first two seasons after baseball returned to D.C.in 2005. Cito Gaston became the first black manager to win a World Series when the Toronto Blue Jays won back-to-back titles in 1992-93.