(Photo courtesy of the Orioles)
Throughout the 2019 season, the Orioles will celebrate the life of Orioles Legend and National Baseball Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who passed away on February 7 at the age of 83.
In honor of Robinson’s commitment to advancing civil rights for African Americans, the Orioles Charitable Foundation will donate a total of $60,000 to several civil rights and African American museums. A donation of $20,000 will be made to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture in Baltimore, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn., and the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C. A representative from each organization will be recognized as part of Opening Day ceremonies at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Thursday, April 4, prior to the 3:05 p.m. ET game against the New York Yankees. The Orioles will present the donations and honor Robinson’s legacy with a video tribute and a moment of silence.
“Throughout his 50-year career in professional baseball, Frank Robinson blazed a trail for the African American players, coaches, managers, and executives who followed in his footsteps,” said John Angelos, Orioles Executive Vice President. “In honor of his tireless commitment to civil rights issues – including his efforts to improve housing opportunities for African Americans here in Baltimore – the Orioles will partner with three remarkable institutions that highlight the achievements of African Americans throughout our nation’s history.”
All Orioles players and coaches will wear a commemorative “20” patch on their jerseys throughout the 2019 season, including all Spring Training games in Sarasota. At Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the ballclub will honor Robinson before the season by displaying a large “20” banner on the east side of the ballpark warehouse. During the season, the club will honor Robinson with a black band across Robinson’s no. 20 retired number marker located on the upper deck façade in left field. At Ed Smith Stadium, the Orioles will also pay tribute to Robinson with a “20” display above the scoreboard throughout the spring and with a video tribute and moment of silence prior to Saturday’s Spring Training home opener against the Minnesota Twins at 1:05 p.m.
The Orioles are also planning to host a public celebration of life for Robinson at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in April. The ceremony will include a video tribute and remarks from a variety of guest speakers. Additional details, including the selected date, will be announced at a later time.
Robinson spent more than half a century in Major League Baseball as a player, coach, manager, and executive. He joined the Orioles in 1966 and propelled the club to its first World Series championship, winning the Triple Crown and earning MVP honors in the process. A two-time MVP, 14-time All-Star, and two-time World Series champion, Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier as the first African American manager in Major League history in 1975 and was an advocate of civil rights issues throughout his entire career.
Robinson was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1982. He played for 21 seasons in the Major Leagues, including six with Baltimore. Robinson spent 16 years as a manager, guiding the Orioles from 1988-91, where he earned American League Manager of the Year honors in 1989. To this day, Robinson remains the only person in Orioles history to serve as a player, coach, manager, and front office executive. He most recently served as a Senior Advisor to the Commissioner and Honorary President of the American League.