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Frank Robinson, Hall of Fame Baseball Player Who Was First Black Manager in MLB, Dies at 83

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CLEVELAND, OH - Former Cleveland Indians manager and player Frank Robinson stands with a new statue commemorating his career prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals at Progressive Field on May 27, 2017 in Cleveland, Ohio. Frank Robinson became the first African-American manager in Major League history on April 8, 1975, as a player-manager for the Indians.(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

Frank Robinson, the feared slugger who became the first black manager in major league baseball, died Thursday at 83, according to Major League Baseball.

Robinson died in California with family by his side, Major League Baseball said. The statement didn’t say how Robinson passed away.

Robinson was rookie of the year for the Cincinnati Reds as a 20-year-old in 1956. That began a 21-year career in which he played for five teams and became the first to win the most valuable player award in both leagues.

In his career, Robinson hit 586 home runs, 10th of all time in the majors.

In 1975, he became player-manager of the Cleveland Indians. He managed until 2006, when he finished his career with the Washington Nationals.

“Frank Robinson’s résumé in our game is without parallel, a trailblazer in every sense, whose impact spanned generations,” Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said. “He was one of the greatest players in the history of our game, but that was just the beginning of a multifaceted baseball career.”

Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

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