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He died Thursday at the age of 83 in hospice care at his home in Bel Air. The fact Frank hit a solo home run in his first at-bat that day as the Indians' player-manager symbolizes his greatness as a Hall of Fame ballplayer. He also won the Triple Crown while leading the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966. He hit 586 career home runs, 179 of them as an Oriole.

After his dismissal from Cleveland, Robinson returned to the Orioles as a coach from 1978-80 and 1985-87.

Pappas went 30-29 over two-plus seasons with the Reds, Baldschun won one game in 51 appearances over two years with Cincinnati and Simpson hit five home runs as a part-time outfielder for the Reds during two mediocre seasons.

Six months later, after Robinson won the Triple Crown and led the Orioles to the pennant, the mayor of Baltimore held a ceremony to rename the street "Robinson Road" for the duration of the World Series.

Robinson, who died Thursday at 83 years old, was a terrific player whose off-the-field contributions earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush in 2005. Robinson went on to say, "I believe that every ball that stays in the park ought to be caught". Though his clubs never finished first and posted a combined 1,065-1,176 record, Robinson was a trailblazer, opening the door for African American and other minority managers in the years since.

One Sunday in a long-ago spring, sudden lightning cracked from Frank Robinson's bat, and in a few electric seconds, one of Baltimore's greatest legends was born. Robinson became manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1981, becoming the National League's first African-American skipper.

Robinson also was a prolific hitter during his time as a player.

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While Robinson dealt with racism and segregation during his career and broke barriers as an African-American manager, he said his accomplishments pale in comparison to those of Jackie Robinson.

Though he retired from playing following the 1976 season, he continued to be a part of the game as a manager for many years.

"The kid actually said, 'Holy cow, I knew he was famous, but I didn't know how", Showalter said.

"We mourn the loss of Hall of Famer and Orioles Legend Frank Robinson", the Orioles wrote in a short statement on Twitter.

While Robinson was fiery on the field, he was even more so off it as he fought for civil rights for much of his playing career especially once he moved to Baltimore.

Robinson also was outspoken about white pitchers not being openly rebuked for throwing at black batters. He is survived by his wife Barbara and their two children.


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