We are saddened by the passing of baseball icon Frank Robinson, a Hall of Famer, two-time MVP, and MLB’s first African-American manager. He was honored by the National Civil Rights Museum with the Freedom Award Lifetime Achievement Award in 2014.
His contributions to civil rights and baseball were many, including the integration of black players in the league. While he was with us for the Freedom Award, he spoke often about the impact his mentor Jackie Robinson, who broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier in 1947, had on his life.
Frank Robinson shared this during his Freedom Award acceptance:
“Jackie told me that he hoped to live to see a black face in the dugout. Two years later I was in the major league club, but Jackie had passed away. I was sad that he wasn’t there to see me with the club cards in my hand. But his lessons stuck with me. I was called a “troublemaker,” but I stood up for the rights of others when they couldn’t stand up for themselves in baseball.”
The Robinson family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions in Frank’s memory can be made to the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee, or the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.