Thanks to MLBNetwork and their new morning chatfest 'MLB Central', we are treated to a videotaped view of that historic afternoon.
The slugger/skipper didn't waste any time, hitting his first homerun of the season in the bottom of the first inning off of Doc Medich. The homerun would be #575 of Robinson's career.
As you can see in the entire segment, there are a ton of news 'pickups' used to fill out the footage. You can clearly tell the difference between the actual game broadcast footage and the news footage.
Notice on the outfield grass that the yardage markers from what I can only assume was Browns games in December. The Notre Dame/Navy game (which was played in the stadium 11 times) was not held at Municipal that season.
There are a few cues we can take away from this video. Firstly, it is part of a larger black and white segment that matches the actual game broadcast clip very well.
Secondly, the news anchor we see talking as part of this larger segment is John Chancellor, NBC's New York based Evening News. The game clip has actual broadcast audio on it and is easily recognizable by the 'HOLY COW!" call as Robinson deposits the pitch into the left field seats. Phil Rizzuto gives us the call on what is surely a WPIX telecast.
The amalgamation of these clips seems to be a national news special report that had WPIX sharing game broadcast clips with NBC News. This footage exists, as a minute and twenty second clip, in the NBC Universal Archives. The description in that log (as follows) matches perfectly with the footage MLBN shows:
FRANK ROBINSON TAKES HELM AS PLAYER-MANAGER FOR CLEVELAND INDIANS CLEVELAND INDIANS PLAYER-MANAGER FRANK ROBINSON JOGS ONTO FIELD TO CHEERS FROM CROWD AT MUNICIPAL STADIUM. AT PRESS CONFERENCE ROBINSON SAYS HIS JOB WILL BE TOUGH IN HIS DUAL ROLE ON THE CLUB & ADMITS HIS PERFORMANCE WILL BE WATCHED CLOSELY BY THE CLUB & OTHERS. RACHEL ROBINSON; WIDOW OF JACKIE ROBINSON; THROWS OUT GAME BALL. ROBINSON HITS HOME RUN OFF THE NY YANKEES. FANS CHEER AS ROBINSON ROUNDS BASES. YANKEES CATCHER THURMAN MUNSON SEEN. TEAMMATES CONGRATULATE ROBINSON AT DUGOUT WITH HANDSHAKES & HE TIPS HIS HAT TO THE CROWD.It is a shame that this is black and white, instead of color. Seeing those hideously unique maroon jumpers the Indians wore would have been a real treat. Still, this is a great piece of baseball history. Through various clip films and shows, we have quite a few of Frank Robinson's 586 career homeruns although those mostly come from his days with the Orioles.