Frank Robinson, Hall of Fame baseball player, first black MLB manager, dies at 83

UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 09: Frank Robinson and President George W. Bush at the Freedom Awards Ceremony at the White House in Washington D.C. on November 9, 2005. (Photo by Douglas A. Sonders/Getty Images)

BALTIMORE — Frank Robinson, the slugger who became the first black manager in major league baseball, died Thursday at 83, according to Major League Baseball.

Robinson died in California with family by his side, Major League Baseball said. The statement didn’t say how Robinson passed away.

Robinson was rookie of the year for the Cincinnati Reds as a 20-year-old in 1956. That began a 21-year career in which he played for five teams and became the first to win the most valuable player award in both leagues.

In his career, Robinson hit 586 home runs, 10th of all time in the majors.

In 1975, he became player-manager of the Cleveland Indians. He managed until 2006, when he finished his career with the Washington Nationals.

“Frank Robinson’s résumé in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career.”

Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005.

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