ST. BERNARD, Ohio (FOX19) - Cincinnati officials gathered Thursday afternoon to dedicate a field in Ross Park to Reds legend Frank Robinson.
Robinson passed away at the age of 83 in February.
He played for the Cincinnati Red from 1956 - 1965 and he became Major League Baseball’s first African-American manager for the Cleveland Indians in 1975.
“His number 20 is retired in Cincinnati, but that’s not it. Also a jersey retired in Baltimore, also a jersey number retired in Cleveland. The man has three statue honoring him at 3 different ballparks. Think about that for a minute and that begins to give you an idea of the magnitude of the impact that Frank had in so many different places," said Brian Giesenschlag, FOX Sports Ohio.
Representatives from the Reds including Hall of Famer Joe Morgan and Reds CEO Bob Castellini, representatives from P&G, the Cincinnati Zoo, and the Village of St. Bernard were on hand for the dedication.
“Frank was tough on and off the field. That was Frank Robinson, that’s who he was. He always wanted things to be done correctly and that’s the way it was done,” said Joe Morgan, Inducted into Reds Hall of Fame in 1990.
The Reds say more than 400 volunteers from P&G along with project partners will be working at Ross Park and the surrounding areas on a makeover project.
They say it’s part of the Reds, P&G, Cincinnati Zoo, and Kroger Community Makeover service project.
“Frank’s name instantly elevates the field’s significance. Transforming the beloved Ross Park into one of the official landmarks of our 150th anniversary,” said Bob Castellini, Cincinnati Reds CEO.
The work includes:
- Fully renovating Frank Robinson Field with a new synthetic infield that will be home to both St. Bernard-Elmwood Place and Roger Bacon high school teams
- ‘Palace of the Fans’ backstop façade as a tribute to the historic Reds ballpark
- New recreation trail with 10 fitness stations, dog park, concession stand and nursing room for mothers
- Frank Robinson mural and oversize baseball bat
- Partnership with a nearby after-school program to update the St. Bernard Community room