By Sean Yoes, AFRO Baltimore Editor, syoes@afro.com

Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young, thrust into the role of ex-officio mayor of Baltimore, honored a Baltimore Oriole Hall-of-Famer for his first public act.

Young re-dedicated the sight of old Memorial Stadium at 33rd Street in East Baltimore as “Frank Robinson Way,” in honor of the Oriole legend.

Interim Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young rededicates the sight of old Memorial Stadium as “Frank Robinson Way” as Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and the Oriole Bird, and others look on. (Photo Credit: Sean Yoes)

Young, who was forced into the position of interim mayor after Catherine Pugh announced an indefinite leave of absence in the wake of her Healthy Holly book scandal, was joined by several city officials including newly installed Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and veteran Baltimore City Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke. The re-dedicated Frank Robinson Way is in Clarke’s East Baltimore council district.

When he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles from the Cincinnati Reds in 1966, Robinson almost single-handedly changed the fortunes of the Orioles organization. Robinson not only added one of the most powerful bats in baseball to the Orioles lineup, as well as a gold glove to the outfield, his aggressive playing style and fierce competitiveness transformed the team’s clubhouse. That first year as an Oriole, Robinson captured the rare triple crown, leading the league in home runs, runs batted in (RBI) and batting average and led the O’s to their first World Series title. The Orioles not only won the championship, but they swept the favored Los Angeles Dodgers in four games, and no player has captured the triple crown of baseball since Robinson’s prodigious 1966 season. At the end of the 1966 season, Robinson also earned his second league Most Valuable Player award.

Interim Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young rededicates the sight of old Memorial Stadium as “Frank Robinson Way” as Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison, Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and the Oriole Bird, and others look on. (Photo Credit: Sean Yoes)

In 1970, Robinson led the Orioles to another World Series victory, this time over his former team the Reds. At the end of his playing career Robinson finished with 586 home runs (10th all-time), 1,812 RBI, 2,943 total base hits and a career batting average of .294. But, his impact on the game was far from over.

In 1974, the Cleveland Indians made Robinson the first Black manager in Baseball history. Robinson also managed the San Francisco Giants, which made him the first Black manager in the National League, the Baltimore Orioles and the Montreal Expos as they made the transition to the Washington Nationals. Robinson is still the only player in the history of Major League Baseball to win the Most Valuable Player award in both leagues.

Robinson died in February at age 83.

Sean Yoes

AFRO Baltimore Editor