Also on this day… Frank Robinson blazes a trail

Apr 8, 2020 | Friends, On this Day | 0 comments

Most Used Tags

Phillies (95)White Sox (40)Dodgers (21)Pirates (18)Cardinals (15)Legacy Card Project (13)Hall of Fame (13)Athletics (12)Mike Schmidt (12)Friends (12)Wallpaper Wednesday (10)Cubs (10)Roberto Clemente (8)Willie Mays (7)Tony Taylor (7)Braves (7)Astros (7)Family (6)Ernie Banks (6)Teammates (6)Ed Herrmann (6)Giants (6)World Series (6)Yankees (5)Reds (5)Hank Aaron (5)Jim Bunning (5)Charlie Manuel (5)Wampum (5)Willie Stargell (5)Larry Bowa (4)JR Richard (4)Jackie Robinson (4)All Star Game (4)Greg Luzinski (4)Fun stuff (4)Angels (4)Goose Gossage (3)NLBM (3)Topps (3)Twins (3)Garry Maddox (3)Hank Allen (3)Mets (3)Lou Brock (3)HallofGame (3)Ryan Howard (3)Dave Cash (2)Steve Carlton (2)Brewers (2)Tony Perez (2)Robin Roberts (2)Jay Johnstone (2)Fergie Jenkins (2)Chase Utley (2)Bob Gibson (2)Eddie Murray (2)Roy Halladay (2)Spring Training (2)Negro League (2)website (2)Indians (2)Ryne Sandberg (2)Horse Racing (2)Dallas Green (2)Lyman Bostock (2)Bill Buckner (2)Larry Hisle (2)Comiskey Park (2)Jim Bibby (1)Rangers (1)Dave Parker (1)Larry Shenk (1)Cards (1)Nationals (1)Newark Eagles (1)Johnny Callison (1)Cookie Rojas (1)Rookie of the Year (1)Pete Rose (1)Carlos May (1)Bill Melton (1)Jimmy Rollins (1)Sadaharu Oh (1)Connie Mack Stadium (1)Larry Doby (1)Satchel Paige (1)Reggie Jackson (1)Joe Torre (1)Babe Ruth (1)Blue Jays (1)helmets (1)Manny Sanguillen (1)Pat Corrales (1)JT Realmuto (1)Carlton Fisk (1)Dock Ellis (1)Keith Moreland (1)Thurman Munson (1)Jerry Reuss (1)Tony Armas (1)George Scott (1)Steve Stone (1)Rod Carew (1)Tom Seaver (1)Fun (1)Little League (1)Jackie Robinson West (1)Joe Morgan (1)Chris Short (1)NLDS (1)Sparky Lyle (1)Pat Burrell (1)Jimmy Wynn (1)Willie Montanez (1)Vida Blue (1)Richie Ashburn (1)Andrew McCutchen (1)Rick Wise (1)Jim Rooker (1)Von Hayes (1)Steve Jeltz (1)Bob Watson (1)John Herrnstein (1)Bart Johnson (1)Tommy Hutton (1)Jim Lonborg (1)Frank Robinson (1)Al Kaline (1)Tigers (1)Sandy Koufax (1)Don Drysdale (1)Don Sutton (1)John Kennedy (1)John Olerud (1)Wilbur Wood (1)Jim Kaat (1)Minors (1)Jose Abreu (1)Bob Kendrick (1)Ozzie Smith (1)Kenny Lofton (1)Interviews (1)Coy Allen (1)Tony Gwynn (1)Padres (1)Williamsport (1)Ron Allen (1)Dennis Eckersley (1)Kirk Gibson (1)Red Sox (1)Shea Stadium (1)Tug McGraw (1)Harry Caray (1)Saratoga (1)Johnny Velazquez (1)Harry Kalas (1)Ed Spiezio (1)Richie Zisk (1)Matt Stairs (1)Roland Hemond (1)Harold Baines (1)Wes Covington (1)Bob Uecker (1)Todd Radom (1)Rhys Hoskins (1)Jorge Orta (1)Ron Guidry (1)Monte Irvin (1)Ted Williams Hitters Hall of Fame (1)Royals (1)basketball (1)Wilt Chamberlain (1)video (1)Johnny Oates (1)Opening Day (1)Manny Mota (1)2008 NLCS (1)Johnny Briggs (1)VOTE (1)
Show More Show Less

Before April 8, 1975 there had never been a black MLB Manager. On that day, Frank Robinson broke new ground in baseball’s long march to truly become the National Pastime.

Robinson wasn’t just a manager for the Indians. He was batting second for Cleveland as their Designated Hitter. On that day, Frank crushed a first-inning pitch from Yankees pitcher Doc Medich for a home run to power the Indians to a 5-3 Opening Day victory.

But this game was about more than Frank Robinson’s excellence as a player. The HR was his 575th, which was plenty to ensure him a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame. When all was said and done, Robinson finished his playing career with 586 home runs, 1,812 RBIs, a .294 batting average, Most Valuable Player Awards in both leagues, the 1966 American League Triple Crown and two World Series rings with the Orioles. This game was about a black man managing a Major League Baseball team.

“It was a great moment, but you had to wait ’til the end, ’til the game was over,” Robinson told The New York Times about the home run, which brought a thunderous ovation from the 56,204 fans at Cleveland Stadium. “Now, it’s even more gratifying.”

Robinson played in just 49 games with the Indians that year, hitting eight more home runs. But under his leadership, Cleveland went 79-80 – a 3 1/2-game improvement from the year before. In 1976, his last season as an active player, Robinson led the Tribe to its first winning season in eight years. But following a slow start in 1977, Robinson was dismissed.

In 1981, he went on to manage the San Francisco Giants – where he became the first African-American manager in National League history. He also managed the Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals, winning 1,065 big league games as a manager.

Dick Allen on Twitter

Dick Allen Pinterest