Written by Press Release
Saturday, 30 September 2006 08:46
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, September 30, 2006
NATIONALS MANAGER FRANK ROBINSON WILL NOT RETURN IN 2007
The Washington Nationals today announced that manager Frank Robinson will not return for the 2007 season. Robinson’s final game as Nationals manager will come in Sunday’s season finale vs. New York (NL). Nationals Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden made the announcement.
Robinson’s tenure as Nationals/Expos manager ends after five seasons, during which he compiled a 385-423 record. His stay as franchise manager included a pair of winning seasons (2002 and 2003) and the memorable 2005 campaign, during which the Nationals finished 81-81 (.500) and remained in the pennant race until the season’s final 10 days in their inaugural season in the nation’s capital. With two games remaining, the 2006 Nationals are 71-89 and reside in fifth place in the NL East in Robinson’s final season as manager.
Robinson, who became baseball’s first African-American manager on October 4, 1974 when he assumed Cleveland ’s helm, is 1065–1174 (.476) in 16 seasons as a big league manager. He currently ranks 46th on the all-time win list for managers. With a 10-4 win at Philadelphia on April 20, 2006, Robinson became the 53rd manager in big league history to reach the 1000-win plateau.
In addition to Washington (2005-06), Montreal (2002-04) and Cleveland (1975-77), Robinson also managed in San Francisco (1981-84) and Baltimore (1988-91). He was named American League Manager of the Year in 1989 after leading the Orioles to a 32.5-game improvement compared to the previous season.
Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 after batting .294 with 586 home runs and 1812 RBI during a 21-year playing career with Cincinnati , Baltimore , Los Angeles (NL), California and Cleveland . One of 37 first-ballot Hall-of-Famers, Robinson currently ranks sixth on baseball’s all-time home runs list.
During his playing career, Robinson claimed two World Championship Rings (1966 and 1970), appeared in five World Series (1961 with Cincinnati and 1966, ‘69-71 with Baltimore ), and played in three other championship series. His jersey No. 20 has been officially retired by both Baltimore (1972) and Cincinnati (1998).
He remains the only player in baseball annals to win the Most Valuable Player Award in both leagues (NL MVP playing for Cincinnati in 1961, AL MVP playing for Baltimore in 1966). He earned his final MVP citation in 1966 after hitting .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBI and claiming the prestigious Triple Crown. His 1961 MVP campaign (.323, 37 home runs, 124 RBI) resulted in Cincinnati ’s first NL flag in 21 years. Robinson burst on the scene with the Reds and claimed the NL Rookie of the Year by hitting .290 with 38 home runs and 83 RBI in 1956, his initial big league campaign. On August 20, 1970, he hit grand slams in consecutive at-bats at RFK Stadium off Washington’s Joe Coleman and Joe Grzenda.
Robinson was a 12-time All-Star (six with each league) who played in 11 Mid-Summer Classics. He was named MVP of the 1971 All-Star Game in Detroit thanks to a game-winning three-run homer in the third inning off Dock Ellis.
In more than 50 seasons in the game, Robinson has served baseball in nearly every conceivable position: player, player/manager, manager, coach, Team USA manager, front-office executive and administrator. In ‘02, Robinson was the recipient of Baseball America’s inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his career as a player, manager and executive.