Great Baseball Moments- April 8, 1975. Frank Robinson makes his debut as the first black manager- and hits a home run in his first at-bat.
It was certainly a long time coming but the Cleveland Indians made history in hiring as their manager for the 1986 season- Frank Robinson. Frank had long been considered to be a front runner to become the first black manager in major league baseball. As a player he was a great leader, he managed in the winter leagues late in his playing career and had his heart set on being a manager. Of course the Indians were one of the worst teams in the league but it was an opportunity he couldn’t turn down. Frank was 39 years old at the start of the baseball season and would be a player-manger for the Indians. Before the game Indian General Manager- Phil Seghi suggested to Frank ‘Why don’t you hit a home run the first time you go to the plate?” to which Robinson replied “You’ve got to be kidding?’ They had a huge crowd that Opening Day in Cleveland to witness history- 56, 204. Frank Robinson was in the line up as the Designated Hitter. In his first at -bat off of the Yankees Doc Medich- Frank Robinson – hit a home run. What an incredible start. The Indians had a decent year for them that year- going 79-80 a fourth place finish. It was the Indians best record in a decade.