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Tribe to unveil Frank Robinson statue on Saturday

Heritage Park will honor the legacy of former Indians player-manager Frank Robinson with the unveiling of a commemorative statue this weekend at Progressive Field.

Heritage Park has been a must-see attraction at Progressive Field since it opened in 2007.

Another piece commemorating the history of the Cleveland Indians franchise will join the highly popular display this weekend.

The Tribe will unveil a new Frank Robinson statue on Saturday to honor his accomplishment as the first African-American manager in Major League history on April 8, 1975. Robinson served as the Cleveland player-manager from 1975-1977 before he managed the Giants (1981-84), Orioles (1988-91) and the Expos/Nationals (2002-06).

Robinson recorded 586 home runs – the 10th highest mark all-time – and slashed .294/.389/.537 over the course of his 21 seasons in the big leagues with the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

"He was a force," said manager Terry Francona. "When you talk to guys like my dad, he had a lot of respect for how he played the game."

The ceremony is slated to start at 2:15 p.m. ET with Hank Aaron and Sharon Robinson in attendance. Aaron held the all-time record for home runs (755) from 1974 to 2007 while Robinson is the daughter of Jackie Robinson.

"We're looking forward to it. We'll go out there, as a team, to watch the ceremony," Francona said. "We're going to alter our batting practice a little bit. We'll have optional hitting on the field and we'll have some more in the cage so we can accommodate our guys, but also go out as a team. It'll really be an honor to be able to be apart of the audience watching (the ceremony)."

SportsTime Ohio will provide television coverage of the event immediately following the Indians game against the Royals on Sunday. Other air times are as follows…

Wednesday, May 31: 9:30 p.m. ET

Thursday, June 1: 7:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, June 8: 8:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, June 10: 7:00 p.m. ET

Sunday, June 11: 8:00 p.m. ET

Fox Sports 1 will nationally televise the contest and bring all the live coverage beginning at 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday.

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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