EXIT of the Day: EXIT 64 I-95 To Baltimore Beltway. Baltimore, Maryland
Hear this here:
"As longtime baseball writer Roger Kahn once wrote, Frank Robinson made a career of 'pounding pitchers with fine impartiality.'
At the time of his retirement in 1976, Frankie Robinson’s 586 homeruns ranked fourth in baseball history behind only Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
Invariably described as the orneriest, most competitive player on any field, he was also the only player to be named the MOST VALUABLE PLAYER in both the National League and American Leagues. Another Frankie Robinson First: in 1975, Frank also became the first black manager in the major leagues.
Off the field, Frank made waves as well. Rewind to 1965 when he was traded from the Cincinnati Reds to the Baltimore Orioles. In Baltimore, he famously incited racial animosity after he moved into a white neighborhood with his family. When asked how he was reacting to the pressure, he said he was tough and you don't get as far as he did in life if you were not. Must be true. In 1966, he not only became the first player to hit a home run out of Memorial Field, but he also he won the Triple Crown, leading the American League with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs, and 122 runs batted in.
While in Baltimore, he became active in the Civil Rights Movement. He originally declined membership in the NAACP unless the organization promised not to make him do public appearances. However, after being personally insulted by Baltimore's segregated housing practices, he became an enthusiastic speaker on racial issues and helped influence the acceptance of Black players in all sports.
One of ten children born into poverty at the height of the Great Depression in 1935 in Texas, Frankie one day would win the highest Civilian award in the land; fellow Texan, President George Bush the second awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. This was as much a honor for George as it was for Frankie; that's because the President himself had a prior day job as a co-owner of the Texas Rangers.
On his death, in February 2019, the Baseball Hall of Famer was survived by his two children and his wife, Barbara Ann Cole Robinson.
Final Note: Barbara Ann Robinson is herself a force to reckon with. After being turned away from living in racially segregated neighborhoods in Baltimore, when the Robinsons next moved to Los Angeles, Barbara Ann herself became a realtor. Targeting professional black athletes, she became one of the top grossing Realtors in Southern California.
On a more personal note, she had a hard time watching Frank play baseball since at bat, Frank crowded the plate so aggressively. According to the New York Times, Barbara Ann got so worried that she had to move a different seat because she couldn’t bear to sit behind home plate with the other baseball players’ wives. That’s because Frankie stood so close she didn’t want to watch the pitches come so close to her husband’s head.
Their marriage lasted nearly 60 years.
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#NAACP #CivilRights #BaltimoreOrioles #CincinnatiReds #Baltimore
#WillieMays #BabeRuth #HankAaron #MostValuablePlayer