Washington, DC – The Washington Nationals released the following statements on the passing of former manager Frank Robinson:
“The Lerner family and the entire Washington Nationals organization extend our deepest condolences to the family of Frank Robinson. Frank was one-of-a-kind. A trailblazer throughout his career, he was steadfast and courageous in his defense of justice and diversity in the game of baseball. In addition to his Hall of Fame playing career, Frank broke down barriers, was a leader and mentor. Not only did he lead our team in our early years, helping to establish our culture and develop young players, but he remained connected throughout the years with our organization. His contributions to our team helped set us on a path to success and his continued presence helped remind us why we love this game. He was an ambassador for both the Nationals and the game throughout the city, but was especially fond of sharing stories with children from a nearby elementary school about his time in the big leagues. More than all of this, he was a dear friend to our family and will always be remembered as being an important part of the Nationals family.”
Mark D. Lerner, Managing Principal Owner and Vice Chairman
Washington Nationals Baseball Club
“Frank was my first big league manager. I still remember being so nervous to walk into his office and introduce myself. He was a living legend and I was a twenty-year-old kid right out of college. I can honestly say that meeting was the last time I ever felt that way around him. From that day on, he took care of me and treated me like a son. He was hard on me and at times I wondered why. I’m positive my career was shaped by the way he treated me and pushed me to be a professional. He taught me so many lessons about baseball and life that I will keep with me and pass along to teammates, friends and even my two daughters. We kept in touch through the years with phone calls, breakfast or lunch when I was on the west coast and locker room visits. He will be deeply missed by so many people. Thank you Frank for all that you did for me. You made baseball, and more importantly this world, a better place.”
Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals First Baseman
The following statement was issued Thursday afternoon by the Angelos family.
“Frank Robinson was not only one of the greatest players in Orioles history, but was also one of the premier players in the history of baseball. Fans will forever remember Frank for his 1966 season in which he won the Triple Crown and was named MVP during a year that brought Baltimore its first World Series championship. His World Series MVP performance capped off one of the greatest individual seasons in baseball history. An Orioles Legend and a Baseball Hall of Famer, Frank brought us so many wonderful memories, including two championships, during his time in Baltimore.
“As the first African-American manager in Major League history, Frank was a proponent of civil rights causes on and off the field, including policies that paved the way for minorities to have increased access to executive and management positions in baseball. His leadership in the front office and as manager of the Orioles was highlighted by being named the American League Manager of the Year in 1989. To this day, Frank remains the only person in Orioles history to serve as a player, coach, manager, and front office executive.
“Frank’s contributions to the Orioles and his work as an ambassador for Major League Baseball will never be forgotten. This is a difficult day for our entire organization and for our many fans. We extend our condolences to his wife, Barbara, his daughter, Nichelle, his entire family, and his many friends across our game.”