Tributes continue to pour in following the passing Thursday of major league baseball hall of fame player and manager Frank Robinson following a battle with bone cancer.
His on-the-field success is well documented as well as his status as a precedent-setter in the sport.
I was working at WDOH when we carried Robinson’s debut as the first ever African American manager of a major league baseball team in the spring of 1,975 for the Cleveland Indians. I remember the first game of that season as a very big deal.
Robinson’s first at bat home run as the player manager for the tribe is still recognized as one of the highlights in Indians history.
Growing up as a kid I was a big Cincinnati Reds fan but it was trades of players like Robinson and Tony Perez that caused me to switch allegiances to the Indians by my teen age years. Interestingly enough during his hall of fame induction speech Robinson said he felt the Reds decision to trade him to Baltimore because ownership thought he was over-the-hill at 30 years old, was one of the reasons that he ended his playing days with 586 home runs and nearly 3,000 hits. Unlike so many pro players in all sports today, Frank Robinson chose to let his work do his talking. It’s a shame more players don’t do the same today.
That’s the way I see it.