Buck Showalter makes Orioles' prospect produce Frank Robinson report

Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Buck is focused on making the kids learn their history lessons, even if it interrupts spring training.

Outfielder Frank Robinson is one of the Orioles' most important players ever, and a historically significant trailblazer in the annals of Major League Baseball. Which is probably why O's manager Buck Showalter told prospect Josh Hart to write a one-page report on him on Monday after finding out the 19-year-old was unfamiliar with the Hall of Famer, as per the tweet sent by Baltimore Sun baseball writer, Eduardo Encina.

Entering his fourth full season with the club after becoming manager in July of 2010, Showalter is a historian of the game and was a widely praised analyst during his time between managerial stints after parting ways with the Rangers in 2006. Buck has a special place in his heart for O's lore: his uniform number (26) is a reference to former O's manager Johnny Oates. So it's no surprise he's not particularly happy with a part of the team's future not having an appropriate grasp of the its past.

Robinson, for his part, is one of the sport's all-time greats, is still the only player to win MVPs in both leagues -- one each as a member of the O's and the Cincinnati Reds. He was also a Triple Crown winner -- doing so as a member of the organization during his 1966 AL MVP season -- a Rookie of the Year, and has his number #20 retired with both organizations. And perhaps, most importantly, he was the first African-American manager in the history of baseball.

His managerial career -- during which he won the 1989 Manager of the Year award, also with the Orioles -- began in 1975, as part of a radically retro experiment involving Robinson as player-manager for the Cleveland Indians. Reminiscent of the very beginnings of the sport, Robinson was in fact traded by his previous organization, the Angels, in order to accommodate his requests to become a manager.

After leaving the Indians in 1977, he was named a manager of the San Francisco Giants following a brief stint as a coach on the Angels and three seasons out of baseball, becoming the first African-American manager in the NL to go along with his many other accomplishments.But it wasn't always smooth sailing for Robinson, who along with (ironically enough) Showalter, was named Worst Manager according to players in a 2006 survey by Sports Illustrated when he was the skipper for the Nationals.

This -- or more specifically, his team's miserable play that resulted in him being called the sport's worst manager -- would lead to the organization not renewing his contract, moving the all-time great off the bench for what seems like good. That all of this happened before the time Josh Hart was likely in high school seems irrelevant as more and more players appear disconnected to the rich history of the game and the people that paved the way for the league to be where it is today.

Though Hart shouldn't feel too bad, this probably isn't the first time a player didn't know who Frank was: according to legend, and Bryant Gumbel, Robinson once managed a player in Washington who asked him if he ever played in the majors.

More from SBNation.com

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.