|Frank Robinson - More than just a manager|
Written by Jim Amato (Contact & Archive) on March 21, 2007
Frank Robinson is well known for being the first African-American Major League manager. He took over the Cleveland Indians in 1975 as a player / manager. He has gone on to have a fine career as a manager with other teams and as an executive in the Major League front office. In fact Frank has made such a mark in his post playing days that we tend to forget what a great player Frank was.
Frank broke in with the 1956 Redlegs and showed he was a force to be reckoned with as he cranked out 38 home runs. Frank was part of the 1961 Reds who won the National League pennant but lost to the powerful New York Yankees in the World Series. That year Frank batted .323 with 37 home runs and 124 runs batted in. The following year Frank hit a career high .342.
After ten years with the Reds, Frank was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 1966. Bad move by the Reds, great move for the Orioles. Frank feasted on American League pitching clubbing 49 homers and driving in 122 while batting .316 to win the Triple Crown. The Orioles went on to beat the Dodgers in the World Series that year. In all Frank put in six solid seasons with Orioles. In 1972 he went back to the National League to play with the Dodgers.
In 1973 Frank went to the Angels and late in 1974 he was sent to the Cleveland amidst the rumors that he would be named the manager. Frank's actual playing career ended after the 1976 season. In his 21 years as a player Frank batted 10,006 times. He hit safely 2,943 times for a career average of .294. Frank belted 586 home runs while driving 1,812 across the plate. He even managed to steal 204 bases. Yes Frank Robinson was a true Hall Of Fame caliber player. One of the best to ever play the game.