From the Baltimore Orioles…
Baltimore Orioles Legends Series; April 28, 2012 – Frank Robinson
Quotes about Frank from Other O’s legends
Brooks Robinson: “I am thrilled that Frank is being honored today with this statue. He was a fantastic player. His arrival put us over the hump and turned us into a championship team. He has also had numerous accomplishments after his playing days including being named the first African-American manager in Major League history. His work in the Baseball Commissioner’s office continues to make an impact on the game today. He is a great friend and we had a lot of good times together. He deserves this honor and I congratulate him.”
Earl Weaver: “The Orioles are honoring a man who played the game of baseball the way it should be played; with intensity and intelligence. Each at-bat was a war against the fellow who stood on the mound to oppose him. His success shows in the statistics he posted through his career. Baltimore, after getting back into the Major Leagues in 1954, became a pretty good ball club in the early ‘60s. But when Frank was acquired in 1966, they became the powerhouse of baseball for the next eight to 10 years. He was a leader on the field and expected his teammates to play just as hard as he did. His influence in the clubhouse was very noticeable, and had a lot to do with the Orioles first two World Championships. Now with the statue being placed in Camden Yards, his feats as an Oriole will always be remembered, as well they should be.”
Jim Palmer: “Frank coming to the Orioles took the club from good to great. He was by far the best hitter I ever played with. While not the fastest runner, he had great base running instincts. In the outfield, he always seemed to be in the right place. Middle infielders beware; when he was breaking up the double play, it did not take long for me to realize that I was glad he was on our team. He made us all proud to wear the Orioles uniform.”
Eddie Murray: “I want to congratulate Frank on this honor today. He has had such an impact in Baltimore and it is fitting that the Orioles dedicate this permanent monument honoring his achievements. As a player, he set the standards for how the game was played. I am thrilled to be part of this tribute today.”
Cal Ripken, Jr.: “Frank is one of the game’s all-time greats. He has dedicated his life to baseball as a player, a ground breaking manager and executive and I am very happy to see him being honored. Frank was a rare combination of hitting for power and average and Orioles fans will always remember his greatness as a triple crown winner and a leader on the O’s championship teams in 1966 and 1970. I will remember our conversations about hitting. He really studied the game and we all benefitted from his wisdom.”
FRANK ROBINSON CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:
Frank’s achievements during his 21 seasons as a player rank him among the top players of all-time in 10 categories. He hit 586 home runs, 6th on the all-time list. He spent 19 seasons with the Orioles as a player (’66-’71), coach (’79-’80 and ’85-’87), manager (’88-’91) and assistant general manager (’91-’95).
The trade that brought Frank from Cincinnati to Baltimore turned the Orioles from contenders to World Champions in 1966. He won the Triple Crown (.316 average, 49 homers, 122 RBI) and was both the AL and World Series MVP in his first season with the Orioles. In all, the Orioles went to the World Series 4 times in his 6 seasons as a player with them. When he was traded to the Dodgers after the ’71 season, he became the first to have his number retired by the Orioles.
Frank was NL Rookie of the Year with the Reds in 1956 and is the only player to win MVP honors in both leagues (’61 NL, ’66 AL). He played in 11 All-Star games and was MVP of the 1971 classic. While still an active player, he became the first black manager in major league history with the Cleveland Indians in 1975. In addition to the Indians (’75-’77), he managed the San Francisco Giants (’81-’84), the Orioles (’88-’91) and the Montreal Expos—Washington Nationals (’02-’06).
Frank was elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame the first year he was eligible in 1982. He lives with his wife, Barbara, in Bel Air, CA. They have two children.