His ability to exact revenge on pitchers who knocked him down became so well known that Phillies manager Gene Mauch was said to have fined any pitcher who dared dust off Robinson.
Word emerged today that legendary former ballplayer and manager Frank Robinson has passed away at 83 years of age.
Robinson was named the AL Manager of the Year with the Orioles in 1989 - the same year he took part in history by coaching against the Blue Jays' Cito Gaston in the first games featuring two black managers.
Robinson starred in the major leagues for two decades, and later became the first black manager in the history of the MLB.
Following the end of his managerial career, Robinson moved to the Major League Baseball offices and served in several different roles from 2007-2015, ending as the Executive Vice President of Baseball Development.
Robinson was the only player to win the MVP award in both leagues. In his first at-bat as their player-manager, he hit a home run. Robinson responded to that judgment with a vengeance. He also won the Triple Crown while leading the Orioles to their first World Series championship in 1966. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame as a Baltimore Oriole in 1982. "I'm glad Cincinnati thought he was "an old 30" when they traded him".
After 10 seasons in Cincinnati, he joined the Baltimore Orioles, and won a World Series in his first season in Baltimore.
ESPN's Tim Kurkjian writes that "Robinson is one of the most underrated superstar players ever to play the game". He made 13 All-Star teams. His MLB-best marks of 49 home runs, 122 RBIs, .316 batting average and 122 runs scored helped carry the Orioles to their first World Series title.
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.
There are statues of Robinson at the ballparks in Baltimore and Cincinnati. He had been in hospice care at his home in Bel Air. Robinson remained with the Indians until 1977, then managed the San Francisco Giants and Orioles.
As the news of his death spread Thursday, friends, former teammates, Major League Baseball executives and media members shared memories of Robinson on social media.
Born in Beaumont, Texas, Robinson was raised in west Oakland where he attended McClymonds High School along with future NBA Hall of Famer Bill Russell. In 2005, President George W. Bush honored Robinson with the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Mazzone capably did his job for years with metal hooks and became good friends with Robinson.