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That managerial career would extend well beyond his playing days.

The MLB website said Robinson, who died at his California home, had been suffering from a long-term illness.

Robinson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles before the 1966 season and promptly won the Triple Crown and the American League's Most Valuable Player award, becoming the first player to win MVP in both leagues.

Frank Robinson, who slid hard on the asphalt streets of Oakland, Calif.as a youngster and harder still in every game he played during a major league career that saw him become one of the game's most feared sluggers and fiercest competitors, died in hospice care Thursday at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Robinson hit 586 home runs - he was fourth on the career list behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays when he retired and now ranks 10th. In his first season leading the dugout, which was also his age-39 campaign as a player, he posted a 153 OPS+ and drew 29 walks against 15 strikeouts in 149 trips to the plate.

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Robinson was named baseball's first black manager in October 1974, and managed the Indians in 1975, 1976 and for part of the 1977 season. He has had his number 20 retired by the Reds, Orioles, and Indians.

Robinson went on be presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by US President George W Bush in 2005 for his work in and out of baseball.

"I knew there was going to be an terrible lot of pressure, a lot of expectation and a lot of unhappy people because when things went right, fine, but when things went wrong, it was going to be doubly bad because of me being the first black manager", Robinson said.

Robinson was also a monumental figure in Baltimore history as an activist in the civil rights movement. He's also in the Nationals' Ring of Honor.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement in the wake of Robinson's passing.

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Horton says, if not for injuries that put a bit of a damper on his career, Granderson could have ended up like Robinson.

Robinson later managed San Francisco, Baltimore and Montreal.

Robinson won his first league MVP with the Reds in 1961, when he led the National League with a.611 slugging percentage, blasting 37 home runs and driving in 124 runs as Cincinnati won the National League pennant.

"Frank will be forever remembered for his enormous impact on our game as an extraordinary player, a gifted manager, and a deeply committed member of the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame".

Basketball legend Bill Russell said Robinson was a good friend.

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Being the sport's first black manager "was nothing compared to what Jackie did or what he went through, but it was important because I was the first and that meant the door's open", Robinson told OTL in 2016.


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