MLB Hires Frank Robinson

By Marcus Matthews
Updated: February 21, 2008

Frank RobinsonFrank Robinson, one of the most recognizable members of the Baltimore Orioles has been appointed Vice President of On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bud Selig. The Hall-of Famer, who has been a part of baseball for nearly 50 years as a player, coach, manager, and assistant general manager, will have the responsibility for making decisions regarding suspensions.

In addition to handling player discipline, he will also deal with time of game, uniform policy, stadium configuration, and all matters that take place on the field. Robinson, 64, will report directly to MLB Executive Vice President Sandy Alderson.

The position is a new one and comes as a part of the abolition of the American and National League offices and the league presidents, who had previously handled discipline.

“Frank Robinson is a baseball legend who brings invaluable experience- both as a player and executive- to the Central Office,” Selig said. “Frank knows and understands the game from every conceivable angle and is the perfect choice to handle player discipline and other on-field matters.”Since May 1997 Robinson has been a consultant to Selig for special projects and was the head of the Arizona Fall League.

Robinson was named the National League Rookie of the Year with the Cincinnati Reds in 1956 and also has the distinction of being the only player ever to win the Most Valuable Player Award in both leagues (Cincinnati, 1961; Baltimore, 1966).

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1982. Robinson is also currently fourth on the all-time home run list with 586 and became one of 11 players in the history of the major leagues to win the Triple Crown when he accomplished that feat with the Orioles in 1966.

Another of Robinson’s great accomplishments occurred in 1975 when he took over at the helm of the Cleveland Indians as a player-manager and became the first African-American manager in league history. After stints with the Indians (1975-77), the San Francisco Giants (1981-84) and the Orioles (1988-91) Robinson was named Manager of the Year with the Giants in 1982 and the Orioles in 1989.

Two other minority managers received promotions in major league baseball as Jimmie Lee Solomon was named Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations and Lou Melendez, Vice President of International Baseball Operations.