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
Eight people were confirmed dead from a predawn fire that sank a boat off a Southern California island while 26 others who were on the scuba diving vessel are missing, a local sheriff said on Monday (September 2).
The fire broke out aboard the Conception, a 75-foot (23-metre) boat, at about 3:15 a.m. while it was moored just off the shore of Santa Cruz Island, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a statement.
“This isn’t a day that we wanted to wake to for Labor Day and it is a very tragic event and we will search all the way through the night into the morning but I think we all should be prepared to move into the worst outcome. But those are our efforts right now and they will continue through the night and into the morning,” Coast Guard Captain Monica Rochester told reporters
Passengers slept in the ship’s lower quarters, officials said, while five crew members who were above deck on the bridge escaped.
The Coast Guard searched the coastline of Santa Cruz Island for any other possible survivors but had not found anyone, officials said.
Four bodies were recovered from the area and rescue divers found another four bodies on the ocean floor near the sunken vessel, which lies upside down under more than 60 feet (18 meters) of water, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown told reporters.
“The four victims that we have recovered as of now will need to be identified through DNA and that may take some time. The condition of the remains that are recovered subsequently will determine the speed at which we are able to identify any of the victims,” Brown said.
The Conception, which launched in 1981, embarked for California’s Channel Islands on Saturday (August 31) morning with 39 people on board. Excluding the five survivors and the eight people confirmed dead, search teams are looking for 26 people who were on the Conception, he said.
Authorities are trying to determine the best way to recover the sunken vessel, including the possibility of towing it to shore, he added.
The surviving crew members sought refuge on a fishing boat moored a few hundred feet away, banging on the side to wake up Bob Hansen and his wife who were sleeping onboard.
The diving boat was chartered by Worldwide Diving Adventures, a Santa Barbara, California, excursion firm. It said on its website that the Conception was on a three-day excursion to the Channel Islands, and was due back in Santa Barbara at 5 p.m. on Monday.
The boat’s owner, Truth Aquatics, referred queries about the accident to a joint media center. “This is still an ongoing search and rescue,” it said. (Reuters)
Actor Kevin Hart suffered major injuries in a car accident in Los Angeles early on Sunday morning (September 1), the California Highway Patrol (CHP) said.
Hart, 40, was being driven in a 1970 Plymouth Barracuda shortly after midnight on Mulholland Highway when the driver lost control of the car and it tumbled down an embankment, the CHP said in a statement.
CHP did not elaborate on the nature of Hart’s injuries, but TMZ reported that he injured his back.
The driver, Jared Black, also suffered major injuries in the accident, the CHP said. He was not under the influence of alcohol at the time, the CHP added.
Hart, who is known for his stand-up comedy and comic roles in movies including “Ride Along,” was able to leave the scene of the crash with a second passenger, who was not badly hurt, and head to his home nearby to get medical attention, the CHP said.
Hart was eventually taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center and the driver was taken to another hospital. (Production: Kia Johnson)
Police and ambulances raced to a shooting at a food festival in California on Sunday (July 28), and video posted on social media showed people at the event running for cover as shots rang out.
Few details were immediately available, but a police spokesman said there were casualties.
NBC Bay Area reported that ambulance crew were told 11 people were “down” after the shooting on the last day of the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual three-day event south of San Jose.
Footage uploaded to social media appeared to show festival attendees scattering in confusion as loud popping sounds could be heard in the background.
“What’s going on?” a woman can be heard asking on one video. “Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?”
Evenny Reyes, 13, told the San Jose Mercury News that at first she thought the sound of gunfire was fireworks. But then she saw someone with a wounded leg.
Another witness, Maximo Rocha, a volunteer with the Gilroy Browns youth football team, said he saw many people on the ground, but he could not be sure how many may have been shot and how many were trying to protect themselves.
He told NBC Bay Area that “quite a few” were injured, “because I helped a few.”
Founded in 1979, the Gilroy Garlic Festival features food, drink, live entertainment and cooking competitions. It says it is hosted by volunteers and describes itself as the world’s greatest summer food festival.
It was being held at the outdoor Christmas Hill Park, where weapons of any kind are prohibited, according to the event’s website.
To provide a safe, family-friendly atmosphere, it said, entry was refused to anyone wearing clothing or paraphernalia indicating membership in a gang, including a motorcycle club.
Festival officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Gilroy is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast of San Jose. (REUTERS)
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