City leaders and community members gathered to pay homage to one of Baltimore’s most prominent sports icons, Orioles Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, at a street dedication ceremony in the Waverly neighborhood on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.
The portion of East 33rd Street between Ednor Road and Ellerslie Avenue now has orange, Oriole-branded street signs that read “Frank Robinson Way,” directly behind the location of the old Orioles Memorial Stadium.
Baltimore City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young was the lead spokesman for the event since Mayor Catherine Pugh could not attend due to a leave of absence. Young, who will serve in Pugh’s stead until she returns, expressed kind remarks for Robinson in his time behind the podium.
“Today, we officially proclaim this portion of East 33rd Street as Frank Robinson Way,” said Young, who got to know Robinson in person. “We are honored that this baseball great was once a player and manager for the Baltimore Orioles, that he made history right here in this city.”
Robinson, who led the Orioles to their first World Series title in 1966, built a reputation as one of the greatest outfielders and power hitters in MLB history. He died on February 7, 2019 at his California home at age 83.
He spent more than six decades as an influential figure in the sport, retiring as a two-time World Series champion (1966, 1970), 14-time all-star, two-time league MVP, and the league’s last triple-crown winner.
Baltimore City Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke had a few words after Young spoke. She is a representative of District 14, which is partially composed of the section in which the ceremony took place.
“It’s my district and we’re so proud to have 33rd Street in front of the old stadium area named after our biggest hero of all of Orioles baseball, and that’s Frank Robinson,” Clarke said. “That’s why I came, I wouldn’t have missed it for anything… He was a man of integrity, and character and talent.”
Also at the event were Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison and Maj. Natalie Preston, commander of the northeastern district of the Baltimore Police Department.
In 1974 Robinson became the first black manager in MLB history, assuming the leadership role over the Cleveland Indians. The Texas native also managed the San Francisco Giants, which made him the first black manager in the National League, the Baltimore Orioles and the Montreal Expos, which later became the Washington Nationals— with a managerial career spanning longer than 30 years.
Robinson is still the only player in the history of Major League Baseball to win the Most Valuable Player award in both the National League and American League.
“There is no one who is honored more in Baltimore City than Frank Robinson Sr. for so many, many reasons of excellence, integrity, just representing us the way we’re so proud to be represented,” Clarke continued.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, Young unveiled one of the “Frank Robinson Way” signs at the intersection of 33rd Street and Ellerslie Avenue as attendants responded with an exuberant “yay” and applause.
The Orioles will recognize Robinson, also a civil rights pioneer, in a celebration before their divisional matchup against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards Stadium on Saturday, April 6 at 6:15 p.m.