Brooks Robinson, Orioles third baseman with 16 Gold Gloves, has died. He was 86


FILE - Baltimore Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson takes a swing during a 1970 game at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.
FILE – Baltimore Orioles third baseman Brooks Robinson takes a swing throughout a 1970 sport at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. AP Photograph/File

BALTIMORE (AP) — Corridor of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, whose deft glovework and folksy method made him one of the vital beloved and achieved athletes in Baltimore historical past, has died. He was 86.

The Orioles introduced his loss of life in a joint assertion with Robinson’s household Tuesday. The assertion didn’t say how Robinson died.

The Orioles held a second of silence earlier than their sport towards the Washington Nationals, and the groups lined up exterior their dugouts to pay their respects. Additionally earlier than the sport, followers gathered across the 9-foot bronze statue of Robinson inside Camden Yards.

“Nice participant, nice man on the sphere, nice man off,” mentioned fellow Orioles Corridor of Famer Jim Palmer, who was overcome with emotion. “Respectful, type. And also you don’t meet too many guys like that. Brooks was a real individual. There was no performing. Brooks was only a real individual.”

Coming of age earlier than the free agent period, Robinson spent his total 23-year profession with the Orioles. He virtually single-handedly helped Baltimore defeat Cincinnati within the 1970 World Sequence and homered in Recreation 1 of the Orioles’ 1966 sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers for his or her first crown.

Robinson participated in 18 All-Star Video games, gained 16 consecutive Gold Gloves and earned the 1964 AL Most Beneficial Participant award after batting .318 with 28 residence runs and a league-leading 118 RBIs.

“An integral a part of our Orioles Household since 1955, he’ll proceed to go away an enduring impression on our membership, our neighborhood, and the game of baseball,” the workforce mentioned.

He completed with 268 homers, drove in 1,357 runs and batted a good .267 in 2,896 profession video games. Not dangerous for ol’ No. 5, the boy from Arkansas.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred described Robinson as “one of many greats of our Nationwide Pastime.”

“Brooks stood among the many best defensive gamers who’ve ever lived,” Manfred mentioned in an announcement. “… He was a mannequin of excellence, sturdiness, loyalty and successful baseball for the Orioles.

“I’ll all the time bear in mind Brooks as a real gentleman who represented our sport terribly nicely on and off the sphere all his life.”

MLB Participant Affiliation Govt Director Tony Clark cited Robinson’s function as an advocate for his fellow gamers.

“Tributes to Brooks Robinson will duly be aware his brilliance at third base … . However his impression transcended the sphere — as a distinguished voice within the early days of the MLBPA and a relentless advocate for his fellow gamers via his work with the Main League Baseball Gamers Alumni Affiliation. His humanity, kindness, integrity and dedication will lengthy endure.”

The Corridor of Fame applauded Robinson’s function as a member of its board.

“For generations of followers, Brooks Robinson’s expertise on the sphere was surpassed solely by his unimaginable character and integrity. His love of the Corridor of Fame brightened Cooperstown, as did his devotion to the Museum as a long-standing and valued member of our Board of Administrators.”

Robinson might be without end remembered for his work ethic and the ability he displayed on the sizzling nook, the place he established himself as one of many most interesting fielding third baseman in baseball historical past, whether or not charging sluggish rollers or snaring liners down the third-base line.

“Brooks was perhaps the final man to get into the clubhouse the day of the sport, however he could be the primary man on the sphere,” former Orioles supervisor Earl Weaver mentioned. “He’d be taking his groundballs, and we’d all go, ‘Why does Brooks must take any groundballs?’

“I wouldn’t count on the rest from Brooks. Seeing him work like that meant a variety of any younger individual arising. He was so regular, and he steadied all people else.”

Robinson arrived in Baltimore in September 1955 as an 18-year-old after spending most of his first skilled season in baseball with Class B York. He went 2 for 22 with the Orioles and struck out 10 instances.

He jockeyed between the majors and minors till July 1959, when he caught round in Baltimore for good.

“I believe perhaps he all the time knew what it’s prefer to be within the large leagues at 19. After which I believe while you get to the massive leagues, you get right here, you bought to remain right here, you bought to determine how you can get higher,” Palmer mentioned. “You need to resolve who you wish to be like. I believe for all of us who knew him … he was one of the best.”

Brooks Calbert Robinson Jr. was born in Little Rock on Might 18, 1937. He ultimately made Baltimore his residence however by no means actually misplaced his southern twang, which was simply high quality with followers in blue-collar Baltimore, who appreciated his homespun allure and unassuming demeanor.

Dubbed “Mr. Oriole,” he was a sports activities hero in Allure Metropolis, within the pantheon with former Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas and Orioles infielder Cal Ripken, who carried out for a special technology.

Many Orioles rooters who by no means obtained to see Robinson play nonetheless had been capable of take pleasure in his observations as he was a part of workforce broadcasts.

Ripken was often known as The Iron Man as a result of he performed in 2,632 consecutive video games, however Robinson wasn’t keen on sitting on the bench, both. From 1960-1975, he performed in at the very least 152 video games in 14 seasons and in 144 video games the opposite two years.

“I’m a man who simply wished to see his identify within the lineup on a regular basis,” he mentioned. “To me, baseball was a ardour to the purpose of obsession.”

Robinson retired in 1977 after batting solely .149 in 24 video games. His jersey was retired that yr.

Robinson’s most memorable efficiency got here as MVP of the 1970 World Sequence, when the Orioles bounced again from their gorgeous defeat to the New York Mets the yr earlier than and Robinson redeemed himself after batting simply 1 for 19 in that sequence. As a result of he was so sensational within the discipline throughout Baltimore’s five-game conquer the Reds, few bear in mind he hit .429 and homered twice and drove in six runs — or that he made an error on his first play within the discipline.

In Recreation 1, Robinson delivered the tiebreaking residence run within the seventh inning. One inning earlier, he made a sensational backhanded seize of a tough grounder hit down the road by Lee Might, spun round in foul territory and someway threw out the runner.

Robinson contributed an RBI single within the second sport and have become without end part of World Sequence lore together with his standout efficiency in Recreation 3. He made an amazing, leaping seize of a grounder by Tony Perez to start out a first-inning double play; charged a sluggish curler within the second inning and threw out Tommy Helms; then capped his memorable afternoon with a diving catch of a liner by Johnny Bench. The Sequence ended, fittingly, with a floor out to Robinson in Recreation 5, a 9-3 Orioles win.

“I’m starting to see Brooks in my sleep,” Reds supervisor Sparky Anderson mentioned through the Sequence. “If I dropped this paper plate, he’d choose it up on one hop and throw me out at first.”

Anderson additionally mentioned, “He can throw his glove on the market and it’ll begin 10 double performs by itself.”

Palmer and different teammates would say that the nation obtained to see what Robinson did routinely through the common season. Robinson used to blush when requested to recall his heroics in October 1970.

“I inform folks that I performed 23 seasons and I by no means did have 5 video games in a row like I did in that World Sequence,” he mentioned. “It was a as soon as in a lifetime five-game sequence for me, and it simply occurred to be in a World Sequence.”

His legacy in Maryland continued lengthy after his retirement.

There’s a Brooks Robinson Drive in Pikesville, and the annual state highschool All-Star sport performed at Camden Yards is called in his honor.


Freelance journalist


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