Frank Robinson, who in 1975 became Major League Baseball’s (MLB) first African-American manager and is considered one of the game’s greatest players, died on Thursday (February 7) at the age of 83.
Robinson, known also for his leadership and competitive fire during a Hall of Fame playing career that spanned 21 seasons, will be remembered as a pioneer by the baseball world after paving the way for every minority manager who has followed.
The MLB website said Robinson, who died at his California home, had been suffering from a long-term illness.
After a standout playing career, Robinson went on to manage the Indians, San Francisco Giants, Baltimore Orioles and Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals over 16 MLB seasons.
It was with Cleveland, 28 years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier, that Frank Robinson became MLB’s first black manager when he walked the lineup card to home plate as a player-manager for the Cleveland Indians.
After the last of his managing jobs in 2006, Robinson went on to work for MLB in a variety of roles, among them the vice president of on-field operations, senior vice president for Major League operations and honorary American League president.
In 2005, Robinson received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest U.S. civilian award, for setting a lasting example of character in athletics.
Robinson broke into the National League as a 20-year-old in 1956 and tied a rookie record with 38 home runs en route to NL Rookie of the Year honors. Over the next decade and a half, Robinson was one of the most feared hitters in the game.
When All-Star pitcher Jim Bouton was asked by a fan how he would pitch to Robinson, he replied, “Reluctantly.”
Robinson went on to become a 14-times All-Star who hit 586 home runs during a career in which he played for the Cincinnati Reds, Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, California Angels and Indians.
When Robinson retired, his home run total at the time was fourth on MLB’s all-time list, trailing Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Willie Mays.
Robinson also made history as the first Most Valuable Player of both the National and American Leagues, earned the 1966 AL Triple Crown and World Series MVP honors, and was a centerpiece of two World Series-winning Baltimore teams.
Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, his first year of eligibility, and his No. 20 was retired by the Reds, Orioles, and Indians, with each team also erecting a statue in his honor. — Reuters
by admin | Posted on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018
FILE PHOTO: Actress and Director Penny Marshall | REUTERS
Penny Marshall, who played an endearingly graceless character with a thick Bronx accent in U.S. television’s “Laverne & Shirley” before becoming a pioneering film director with hits including “Big” and “A League of Their Own,” has died at 75, her publicist said on Tuesday (December 18).
Marshall died of complications of diabetes on Monday (December 17) at her home in Hollywood Hills, California, her publicist, Michelle Bega said in a phone interview.
Among the people paying tribute to Marshall were her ex-husband, actor and director Rob Reiner, who tweeted: “So sad about Penny. I loved Penny. I grew up with her. She was born with a great gift. She was born with a funnybone and the instinct of how to use it. I was very lucky to have lived with her and her funnybone. I will miss her.”
Marshall played the unrefined but lovable Laverne DeFazio on “Laverne & Shirley,” a situation comedy that ran on the ABC network from 1976 to 1983, following the lives of two single women and their nutty friends in 1950s and ’60s Milwaukee.
She turned to directing after her series ended. Her first film was the underwhelming 1986 Whoopi Goldberg comedy “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” but that was followed by the charming 1988 hit “Big,” starring fellow former TV sitcom star Tom Hanks. — Reuters
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