Frank Robinson (1956-1965)
Robinson left his mark on the Cincinnati Reds during his 10 seasons with the team, cementing his legacy as one of the most impactful figures in the team’s history.
Earning Rookie of the Year honors in 1956 when he slashed .290/.379/.558 with 38 homers and 83 RBI, Robinson immediately introduced himself to the city of Cincinnati and the MLB community. He would win an MVP award with the Reds in 1961 as well as play in six seasons where he earned an All-Star nod. Robinson also captured his only Gold Glove in 1958, proving he was a force for the Reds at the plate and in the field.
Moreover, Robinson’s presence shattered racial barriers in the league. He would eventually become the first African-American manager in Major League Baseball, taking over managerial duties for the Cleveland Indians in 1975 while still an active player. His success as both a player and manager set a precedent for diversity and equality within the sport.
Frank Robinson’s impact on the Cincinnati Reds and the game of baseball extended beyond just statistics.