CLEVELAND — Cleveland legend Frank Robinson died Thursday at the age of 83.
Robinson was the first African-American manager is baseball history.
He hit a homerun for the Tribe in his first game as a player and a manager.
Members of the MLB community have released statements on his passing.
“The Cleveland Indians organization is deeply saddened by the passing of baseball legend Frank Robinson. Our organization and the City of Cleveland are proud to have played a role in Frank’s significant impact on the game when he became the first African-American manager in baseball history on April 8, 1975. The fact Frank hit a solo home run in his first at-bat that day as the Indians’ player-manager symbolizes his greatness as a Hall of Fame ballplayer. The entire Indians organization extends its thoughts and prayers to the Robinson family.” - Cleveland Indians
“Frank will be forever remembered for his enormous impact on our game as an extraordinary player, a gifted manager, and a deeply committed member of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame. He brought great character, integrity, and sportsmanship to each of these roles. We are truly saddened by this loss and share our deepest sympathy with his family.” -Jane Forbes Clark, Chairman of the Baseball Hall of Fame
“Frank Robinson was an intense competitor who built his prolific 21-year career, and earned a place in American history, on the strength of guts, determination and a staunch constitution. He's the only player in history to win MVPs in both leagues and his 586 lifetime home runs ranked fourth most when he retired, behind Aaron, Ruth and Mays. He elevated the game by becoming Baseball's first black manager in 1975, earning his rightful place in Cooperstown in 1982.” - Jeff Idelson, President of the Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Frank Robinson was not only a great player, but he was a great manager, as well. Frank and Sparky Anderson are the two best managers I had, and I consider it a tremendous honor to have played for the first African-American manager. Frank and I became close friends when I played for him. That lasting friendship extended all the way to today, and we stayed in close contact through his illness. I’m extremely saddened with his passing, and my thoughts are with his wife, Barbara, and his daughter Nichelle at this time.” - Hall of Famer Joe Morgan
“Frank Robinson was someone I looked up to as a man and as a ballplayer and tried to emulate. His skill and ferocity on the field were matched by his dignity and sense of fair play off the diamond. He is the only player to have won the MVP award in both leagues, he won the Triple Crown in 1966 and was enshrined in the Hall of Fame in 1982. In addition to being a 14-time All-Star, Frank also became Major League Baseball’s first black manager, leading four different franchises, and followed that with a career as an executive and ambassador to the game. The fraternity of players and the baseball family have lost a giant.” - MLB Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark
Frank Robinson and I were more than baseball buddies. We were friends.Frank was a hard nosed baseball player who did things on the field that people said could never be done.I’m so glad I had the chance to know him all of those years. Baseball will miss a tremendous human being.— Hank Aaron (@HenryLouisAaron) February 7, 2019