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Frank Robinson was no relation to Jackie Robinson. But he, too, broke one of professional sports’ most notorious color barriers.
A superstar player for over 21 years in Cincinnati, Baltimore, and Cleveland, Frank Robinson became the first African-American manager in major league baseball. He took over the Cleveland Indians in 1975, even while he was still officially an active player. Later, he managed the Baltimore Orioles, Montreal Expos, and the Washington Nationals.
Frank Robinson’s celebrity has been overshadowed in the popular mind by another African-American contemporary, Hank Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s record for most home runs and was also cursed by having played in relatively small cities.
"Does anybody have as complex, as long, and as distinguished a career as Robinson?" Rob Ruck, a University of Pittsburgh history professor and author of "Raceball: How the Major Leagues Colonized the Black and Latin Game," said in an interview. "If this guy had played in New York or L.A. or Chicago, more of baseball America would have been aware of that."
Frank Robinson died this day, 7 Feb 2019, at the age of 83. It would be a tragedy if the greatness and accomplishments of Frank Robinson dimmed with the passage of time. That’s why we remember him on the #HistoryHeroBLAST.
Who do you know who has, or currently is, bursting racial barriers? Nominate him/her for History Hero BLAST today!