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Frank Robinson, professional baseball legend, was named MVP of the American League on November 8 1966. In 1974, Robinson was named manager of the Cleveland Indians-the first Black manager of a major league team.


Frank Robinson, Jr., was born on August 31, 1935, at Silsbee, Texas, the son of Ruth (Shaw) Robinson and her third husband, railroad worker Frank Robinson. Robinson was the last child born to his mother, whose previous two marriages had produced nine children. When separated from the senior Robinson, the mother moved to California with four-year-old Frank and his two half brothers, eventually settling in the Oakland area. Frank Robinson grew up in a poor, ethnically diverse neighborhood where he starred as an athlete. Excelling in baseball, the 15-year-old Robinson was a right-handed hitting and throwing out-fielder on Coach George Powley’s 1950 American Legion team, which won a second consecutive national title. Robinson later played under Cowley at McClymonds High School, whose baseball program also developed future out-field stars Vada Pinson and Curt Flood.

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