Indians' Robinson first African-American manager

Updated: October 17, 2005, 4:27 PM ET
By Larry Schwartz | Special to

Oct. 3, 1974

Twenty-seven years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major league baseball, Frank Robinson becomes the major's first African-American manager.

The Cleveland Indians sign the 39-year-old Robinson, a former MVP in both leagues, to a one-year contract to be their player-manager next season. His salary is estimated at $180,000.

"I'm not a superman," Robinson says. "I'm not a miracle worker." He hopes he will be measured against the success of the Indians, not the color of his skin. "The only reason that I'm the first black manager is because I was born black. My skin is black. Nobody put it on me.

"I don't think there is any similarity between my situation and Jackie's. The times have changed, the world has changed; things are completely different."

Says Larry Doby, the former Indian who broke the color barrier in the American League: "Wherever [the late] Jackie Robinson is, I know he's smiling today."