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Giants to honor former manager Frank Robinson during African American Heritage Night

The San Francisco Giants will honor former Giants Manager Frank Robinson during African American Heritage Night at AT&T Park on Thursday, Sept. 13, when the Giants play the Los Angeles Dodgers.   Robinson will be in attendance and honored on the field before the game. Fans attending the game will receive a Frank Robinson bobblehead.

Robinson became Major League Baseball’s first African American manager in 1975 when the Cleveland Indians named him player-manager. He reached another milestone for African Americans in baseball when he was named the skipper of the National League Giants in 1981 – making him the first African American to manage in both the National and American Leagues.

Frank Robinson, By Rubenstein - CC BY 2.0, https commons.wikimedia.org

“As baseball prepares to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the day when legendary Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, we are excited to announce that we will honor Frank who, like Jackie, blazed new trails for African Americans in our game,” said Larry Baer, Giants President & CEO.

Frank Robinson, a 12-time All-Star, was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. He belted 38 home runs while winning the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award in 1956 with the Cincinnati Reds. In 1961, Robinson was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player after hitting .323 with 37 homers and 124 RBI while helping guide the Reds to their first World Series appearance in 21 years. Following the 1965 season, Robinson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles and went on to win the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1966 after winning the Triple Crown with a .316 average, 49 homers and 122 RBI. Robinson played for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians and ranks among baseball’s all-time leaders with 586 home runs; 5,373 total bases; 1,829 runs; 1,812 RBI; 2,808 games; 10,006 at-bats; 2,943 hits; and 528 doubles.

In October 1974, Indians general manager Phil Seghi announced that Robinson would be the team’s player-manager, making the veteran star the first African American manager in Major League history. He went a combined 160-158 over his first two seasons on the job, and retired as an active player at the end of 1976. His managerial role with the Indians ended in 1977.

Robinson was named manager of the San Francisco Giants in 1981 and was voted the UPI Manager of the Year in 1982. His managerial role with the Giants ended in 1984. Upon returning to Baltimore, Robinson took over as manager after the team began 1988 with six straight losses, then endured the remainder of what stretched into a record 21-game winless streak. The Orioles improved to 87 wins the following season, with Robinson earning AL Manager of the Year honors.

Robinson went to work for Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig as a consultant for special projects in 1996. He was named vice president for on-field operations in 1999, a position that entailed doling out punishment for fighting as baseball’s “discipline czar.”

In 2002, the baseball lifer returned to the dugout as manager of the Montreal Expos. His teams won 83 games in each of his first two seasons. Robinson retired from managing after the 2006 season, finishing with a 1,065-1,176 (.471) record in the role.

Robinson was named Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Development in 2012. After Rob Manfred became the sport’s new commissioner in 2015, the baseball great was named a Senior Adviser and the new Honorary President of the American League.

Fans interested in attending African American Heritage Night and receiving a Frank Robinson bobblehead can go to sfgiants.com.

 

PRESS RELEASE WRITTEN BY GIANTS MEDIA RELATIONS; COURTESY MLBpressbox.com