Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. announced today that he has named Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, currently Major League Baseball’s Executive Vice President for Baseball Development, as Senior Advisor and the new Honorary President of the American League.
As Senior Advisor, Robinson will be available to assist Manfred on issues related to on-field operations, MLB’s annual Civil Rights Game, youth participation and diversity. Robinson succeeds Jackie Autry, a longtime member of the Angels franchise, as Honorary A.L. President. Autry had served as Honorary A.L. President since its inception in 2001 until recently stepping down. Robinson joins Philadelphia Phillies Chairman Emeritus Bill Giles, the Honorary President of the National League. As Honorary A.L. President, Robinson will represent the League at the All-Star Game, during the Postseason and for other special events and baseball milestones.
Robinson served as MLB’s EVP, Baseball Development since June 2012. In that role, Robinson led the management and construction of the league’s network of Urban Youth Academies as well as overseeing the Civil Rights Game, the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and other youth-focused efforts.
Robinson assembled a Hall of Fame playing career with the Cincinnati Reds, the Baltimore Orioles, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the California Angels and the Cleveland Indians, amassing 586 career home runs, which rank ninth on the all-time list. The Oakland native batted a lifetime .294 with a .389 on-base percentage and a .537 slugging percentage. He remains the only player in history to win Most Valuable Player honors in both the American and National Leagues (1961 w/ CIN, 1966 w/ BAL). He was a part of two World Series Championship teams with the Orioles (1966 and 1970), and his memorable ’66 season (.316, 49 HR, 122 RBI) included both the A.L. Triple Crown and World Series MVP.
Robinson has served as field manager of the Indians, the San Francisco Giants, the Orioles, the Montreal Expos and the Washington Nationals. In 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. The Xavier University product also was the Orioles’ assistant general manager for five years. Robinson, 79, has worked for the Commissioner’s Office in several capacities. He was Vice President of On-Field Operations from 2000 to 2002; Special Advisor to the Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations from 2007-2009; Special Assistant to the Commissioner from 2009-2010 and again from 2011-2012; and Senior Vice President for Major League Operations from 2010-2011.
Commissioner Manfred said: “Frank Robinson’s many accomplishments as a player and as a groundbreaking manager and executive are well known to baseball fans. I am glad that this dual role will allow him to continue to contribute to a game that he has served well throughout his Hall of Fame career.”
Robinson said: “I am looking forward to supporting Rob’s vision as Commissioner and becoming Honorary American League President. We have the best game in the world and a particularly promising future. I appreciate the chance to represent the American League, in which I gained some of my fondest memories as a player and a manager.”