Frank RobinsonFrank Robinson
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1982
Primary team: Cincinnati Reds
Primary position: Right Fielder
Frank Robinson had the ability and intensity on the diamond that few possess. And he simply was impossible to intimidate.
“Pitchers did me a favor when they knocked me down,” Robinson said. “It made me more determined. I wouldn’t let that pitcher get me out. They say you can’t hit if you’re on your back, but I didn’t hit on my back. I got up.”
Robinson was also recognized as one of the most feared baserunners of his era and showed reckless abandon on the base paths.
“The baselines belongs to the runner, and whenever I was running the bases, I always slid hard,” Robinson said. “I wanted infielders to have that instant’s hesitation about coming across the bag at second or about standing in there awaiting a throw to make a tag. There are only 27 outs in a ballgame, and it was my job to save one for my team every time I possibly could.”
Robinson broke into the National League as a 20-year-old in 1956 with the Cincinnati Reds and tied a rookie record with 38 home runs en route to NL Rookie of the Year honors. Over the next two decades, Robinson became one of the most feared hitters in the game.
In 1961, Robinson hit .323 with 37 home runs and 124 home runs in leading the Reds to their first National League pennant in 21 years. He was named the NL Most Valuable Player following the season, and in 1962 he was even better – hitting .342 with 39 home runs, 136 RBI and an MLB-leading 134 runs scored.
Following the 1965 season, the Reds traded Robinson to the Orioles. Determined to prove himself all over again in the American League, Robinson won the 1966 Triple Crown with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs and 122 RBI – leading the Orioles to their first World Series title and becoming the first player to win Most Valuable Player awards in both leagues.
Robinson was the driving force of a Baltimore team that won three AL pennants and the 1970 World Series title from 1969-71, averaging 106 wins per season over those three years.
A 14-time All-Star, Robinson took home World Series MVP honors in 1966 and the All-Star Game MVP Award in 1971. His 26-walk-off hits are the most in in MLB history.
In 1975, as his playing days wound down with the Cleveland Indians, he was named the club’s player-manager – becoming the first Black to manage an American or National League club from the start of a season. He also managed the Giants, Orioles, Expos and Nationals, winning the American League Manager of the Year Award in 1989.
Robinson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1982. He passed away on Feb. 7, 2019.
Year Inducted: 1982
Primary Team: Cincinnati Reds
Position Played: Right Fielder
Birth place: Beaumont, Texas
Birth year: 1935
Died: 2019, Los Angeles, California
Cincinnati Reds (1956-1965)
Baltimore Orioles AL (1966-1971)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1972)
LA/California Angels (1973-1974)
Cleveland Indians (1974-1976)
Cleveland Indians (1975-1977)
San Francisco Giants (1981-1984)
Baltimore Orioles AL (1988-1991)
Montreal Expos (2002-2004)
Washington Nationals (2005-2006)
|CAREER AT A GLANCE|
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