Wednesday, September 27, 2023

R.I.P. Brooks Robinson

I don't have many baseball heroes. I'm not prone to that kind of adoration. I love sports, but tend to support the team over the individual. I can become fanatical at times. Usually, I respond like most sane people. I root for the team and root hard, but never have I participated in a fist fight or even a heated argument to prove my loyalty to any team, even when I was two or three beers over the line. I keep sports in the box marked, "Keep it Sane". It's about having fun. Fighting lost its allure for me in military school.

Back in the late 1960's, I saw my first big league game at Memorial Stadium on 33rd Street in Baltimore. I forget now who the Orioles played. I do remember they lost. What sealed the love I would later reward myself with by return visits, was an argument the O's head coach, Earl Weaver, had with the home plate umpire.

The heated discussion happened in a late inning. Pint sized Earl runs out of the dugout and over to the home plate ump who was a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than Earl.. He starts gesticulating wildly and pointing in the direction of the wrong his team just suffered at the hands of an obviously incompetent umpire crew. He finished with a grand kick of dirt on the umps shoes. He was ejected from the game. I do not remember the point of the argument. I would later learn, Earl didn't need a point; the man just loved getting in the faces of the umpires. Most of all, I think he loved being booted out of the game. That was entertainment I could not get on the TV. 

Earl's antics made me want to come back. The players on the team at that time kept me coming back. The O's fielded great teams in the late 1960's and early 1970's. They won the World Series in 1970 and several American League championships. 

There were so many good players on the Orioles' roster then, I could not pick a favorite. But Brooks Robinson was definitely high on my list. Watching him play third base was watching maybe the greatest third basemen of all time. He was a big man with a big arm and the ability to move with a smaller man's agility. While it was his defensive abilities at third base that sealed his greatness, he often kicked some serious butt at the plate.

So Brooks has passed. Another sports star from my early years is gone. Such is the way of the world and Life. In his passing, Brooks once more brought me joy as I remembered his part in creating my love of baseball. 

Thank You, Brooks Robinson. ...........................................

A BTW or  an Afterword - If you want more information on Brooks, start here.

(Thanks to J. Akers for the image at the top)


There is only one song to play after an Oriole's Baseball post. That's right, a rock remix of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". 


The Blog Fodder said...

You are so right about Brook Robinson. He was one of the greats. I loved baseball. Followed it until I went to University in mid-60s. Knew the teams and the players in those days. Cheered for the Yankees and still do on occasion.

MRMacrum said...

The Blog Fodder - Say it ain't so..... You are a Damn Yankees Fan? I was raised to hate the Yankees. Not everyone loves the winner who never loses, which was the Yankee teams of the 1950's.