August 31, 1935:
Black in the Day
On this day, Frank Robinson, the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball and the only player to win MVP in both leagues, was born. Frank was born in Beaumont, Texas. He was the youngest of ten children born to Frank Robinson and Ruth Shaw.
An outfielder and first baseman, Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 in his first year of eligibility. A fearsome hitter, Robinson ranks 10th on the career home runs list with 586. He won the Triple Crown with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966 and became the first black manager in MLB history in 1975 with the Cleveland Indians.
He also served as MLB’s executive vice president of baseball development, with his focus on increasing African-American participation in the sport. He later served as a senior adviser to commissioner Rob Manfred.
Frank died February 7, 2019 in Los Angeles after a lengthy illness. He was 83.
“I knew there was going to be an awful lot of pressure, a lot of expectation and a lot of unhappy people because when things went right, fine, but when things went wrong, it was going to be doubly bad because of me being the first black manager,” –Frank Robinson