He was the first Oriole to have his number retired and today Frank Robinson was the first to have his statue unveiled in the picnic area in left center field at Camden Yards.
Here are some of Robinson’s comments during that ceremony:
“When I came over here, I was one person, one man. But I did say this was a good team before I got here. With these guys, they made it easy. We had fun playing the game. We played the game the Oriole Way and the Oriole Way is the correct way of playing the game.
“When I was traded here to Baltimore, I was really crushed. I spent ten years in the Reds’ organization and I was looking to finish my career there. When the trade came, I was really upset. But I tell you it didn’t take me about a week to get over it and I was happy to come here. This organization and I came together and we became recognized over the country. Everybody knew what Baltimore was after the ‘66 season. We took a couple of years off, then we got it right again in 69, 70 and 71.
“One of the greatest is not here today, but my prayers and thanks go out to my brother, Brooks Robinson. He is one of the nicest individuals that I have ever come across in life or in this game.
“He and I formed a bond right away. A lot of the sportswriters tried to make us enemies, but we never had a cross word. We had success as a team.
“Earl (Weaver) thank you for teaching me about the managerial position. You were the best manager I ever played for and I’ve told you that. I don’t care what you say, this is my time at the mic but you were the best manager I played for and it was great. Two bad we couldn’t have won a couple more for you.
“This is a very special place in my heart, Baltimore. Always has been and it always will be. And you the fans have made it that way. Whenever I come here you make me feel welcome.
“I just want to thank you all for coming out today and that makes it more special for me and my family. I can’t thank the Orioles enough. One of the people that is very shy may stand in the back and hide. You are going to come up here, come on.”
Frank then called Orioles vice president of planning and development Janet Marie Smith to join him on stage.
“This is a very, very special lady and one of the nicest people you will ever meet. She is the one that built this ballpark. She didn’t do it by herself, she got help. She even asked me for help. She built a beautiful ballpark here that stands the test of time. It looks like it was built yesterday.
“Did I get you? I saved the best for last then. My wife Barbara. She’s been married 50 years. I’ve been married 25. That’s because I’ve been gone 25 years. This is a great lady here. Whenever I get down, she gets me up, she won’t let me down.
“This young lady here, this is my daughter Michelle. She takes after her mother. She is a great young lady. Now she’s the boss of the family. She tells us what to do and we listen.
“Thank you all. I don’t want to keep you anymore. Thank you, thank you, thank you Baltimore.”