Reporters wrote that Hall-of-Famer Brooks Robinson visited the Baltimore Oriole locker room on Saturday, with his son and grandson. Several players hugged him as he walked around the locker room. A life long iconic former Oriole player who still means a lot to the organization. He spent his entire 23-year baseball playing career with the Orioles.
During that period he won 16 yearly Gold Glove Awards as the best fielding American League third baseman. Oriole fans probably remember him most from his amazing play in the 1970 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. He batted .429 in that series with 2 homerun. But, he really remembered for his amazing defensive plays at third.
At the time, Reds manager Sparky Anderson could not get over the impact the Robinson’s defense had on the series. As he put it, “I’m beginning to see Brooks in my sleep. If I dropped this paper plate, he’d pick it up on one hop and throw me out at first”.
In 2011, he was honored for his great fielding by being voted as a member of the All-Time Rawlings Gold Glove Team. If you go to Camden Yards to see the Orioles play, you can find a statute of Brooks that depicts him throwing out a runner at first. When he was asked about being honored with a statue, he smiled and said that, “it gave him more hair than he deserved”.
I remember reading Brooks: Biography of Brooks Robinson, when I was a kid. It’s why I titled the blog like a category in Jeopardy.
In his biography, players reflected on how Brooks came to be so good at fielding. Multiple former players and teammates reflected on the fact that every day, he would field 150 ground balls. He’d work on short hops, back-hands, slow rollers and anything that he could imagine that might be hit to him during a game.
Former manager for the Orioles and the Nationals, Davey Johnson, also played with Brooks. He noticed that every day before the game, Brooks’ uniform would already get dirty before the game would even start; Just from practicing and diving for batted practice balls. Johnson asked him, “Why do you take so many grounders when you already have all those Gold Gloves?” Brooks replied, “Because I want to get another, and the only way to do it is work at it.”
That’s a good reminder for how to get better in whatever we do! In my law practice, trials can be long and demanding. However, the real work is in the months leading up to the trial. Fortunately, at least I get to wear a clean suit to the courtroom!!!
And for pic o’ day… all about looking good!