Frank Robinson

What a day! The NBA tradeline was as exciting as ever, almost as much for the non-trades than the actual ones. Baseball got in on the action, with the Phillies giving the Marlins a serious batch of prospects in exchange for All-Star catcher, J.T. Realmuto. Players were shipped around like furniture, including Harrison Barnes, who was traded while he was on the bench. To cap off the day, Lebron and Giannis made their All-Star team picks. However, none of this is what I’m writing about. In the year 1972, Jackie Robinson agreed to throw out the first pitch in Game 2 of the World Series, but he had a condition. He only agreed, if he could speak his mind. He received a plaque and proclaimed “I am extremely proud and pleased to be here this afternoon but must admit I’m going to be tremendously more pleased and more proud if I look at that third base coaching line one day and see a black face managing in baseball.” He died nine days later and never did get to see a black manager. The rest of the world only had to wait three more years. Frank Robinson became the player-manager of the Cleveland Indians in 1975. This feat may have overshadowed his brilliant playing career. He is the only player in history to win an MVP in both leagues and he was a 14-time All-Star. Robinson hit for the Triple Crown in 1966, an achievement only accomplished twice since. He belted 586 home runs, putting him 4th all-time by his retirement, only Ruth, Mays, and Aaron had more. He was an easy choice for the Hall of Fame in his first year on the ballot. Frank Robinson was a baseball lifer, he had a lengthy career, he managed, and had various roles in the league office. He will be remembered for many different things, all of them good.

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