Orioles to celebrate life of Frank Robinson on April 6 (note added)

The Orioles unveiled more of their plans to honor Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, the celebration of his life moving from Sarasota to Camden Yards.

The club is dedicating a night to Robinson on April 6 prior to its game against the Yankees, with the ceremony beginning at 6:15 p.m.

The program, entitled “A Celebration of Frank,” will include a video tribute and collection of notable speakers with confirmations from fellow Hall of Famers Brooks Robinson and Jim Palmer and Orioles Hall of Famer Boog Powell.

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum president Jeff Idelson also is scheduled to attend and the complete guest list will be shared at a later date.

Robinson-Frank-Swing-sidebar.jpgBaltimore City Mayor Catherine Pugh will honor Robinson on Tuesday by renaming portions of 33rd Street “Frank Robinson Way,” an appropriate location given how Robinson called Memorial Stadium his baseball home from 1966-71.

The Orioles Charitable Foundation will donate $60,000 to several civil rights and African American Museums, including the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African American History & Culture in Baltimore, the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis and the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington D.C.

Representatives from each organization will be recognized before Thursday afternoon’s home opener. The Orioles also will pay tribute to Robinson and observe a moment of silence.

No other Oriole has served as a player, coach, manager and front office executive, but that’s only scratching the surface of his achievements and his impact on the game.

Robinson, the only player to win Most Valuable Player awards in both leagues, crashed through baseball’s color barrier by becoming its first African-American manager. He passed away on Feb. 7 at age 83 after a lengthy battle with bone cancer.

The Orioles won their first World Series in 1966, coinciding with Robinson’s arrival in a trade that brought the Reds pitcher Milt Pappas and decades of ridicule.

Robinson won the Triple Crown in ‘66 with a .316 average, 49 home runs and 122 RBIs and was chosen as the American League’s Most Valuable Player, the same award he earned on the National League side in ‘61.

“He made us all believe that the Orioles were going to be a great franchise,” Palmer said.

Robinson was a 14-time All-Star who hit 586 home runs in 21 major league seasons. The Orioles continue to wear a No. 20 commemorative patch on their jerseys.

Note: With Austin Hays unable to play due to a sprained left thumb, the Orioles signed outfielder Mason Williams to a minor league deal and got him in uniform earlier today.

Williams, 27, made his major league debut with the Yankees back in 2015 and appeared in 51 games with the Reds last summer. He was re-signed to a minor league deal in January and released two months later.

The Orioles have been searching for a center fielder with the corners at Triple-A Norfolk expected to be occupied by DJ Stewart and Anthony Santander. Williams has played all three outfield spots as a professional, making 18 starts in center in the majors and 540 in the minors.

Williams is a career .289/.325/.396 hitter in 76 major league games and he slashed .293/.331/.398 last summer in 132 plate appearances with the Reds. The Yankees selected him in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of West Orange (Fla.) High School.

The Reds first signed Williams as a free agent in November 2017.

Hays has his left thumb in a splint after spraining it while diving into second base at minor league camp.

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