In 2005, when Frank Robinson was in his first year as manager of the Washington Nationals, a young player casually asked his 70-year-old skipper if he ever played in the majors.
That moment perfectly sums up why Robinson – a first-ballot Hall of Famer and slugger of 586 career home runs – may have been one of the most underrated great players in baseball history.
Playing in the same era as Hank Aaron and Willie Mays, Robinson didn't quite have the homers totals the other superstars did – and he didn't spend his entire career with one franchise.
But when he retired in 1976, he ranked fourth on the all-time home run list, behind only Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Mays (660).
For the benefit of that unnamed Nationals player – and the rest of the baseball world – here are five more reasons Frank Robinson, who died Thursday at the age of 83, was unique in his own right.
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