Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Orioles Hall of Fame Week- Brooks Robinson

The "Human Vacuum Cleaner" might be the most iconic Oriole in the team's 57 year history. Brooks is regarded as one of the best third-baseman ever to play the game, as his 16 consecutive Gold Gloves attest.  He played with only the O's over his 23 season MLB career from 1955-77 and is absolutely beloved around the city of Baltimore. It's pretty common to run into people who were named in honor of him around the city. I've had the chance to meet Brooks a few times over the years and the man will sign anything and everything for anyone. His autograph has to be one of the cheapest HOF signatures to find because he has signed so many items over the years. I got this card signed, along with a few others, years ago when Brooks appeared at a local car dealership. I was still a kid and it was pretty awesome to have a few minutes of one-on-one time with a Hall of Famer.

Brooks received many honors and accolades over his outstanding career, highlighted by winning the 1964 MVP award and being a key part of the 1966 & 1970 Orioles World Series Championships. He was also a 15 time All-Star (in consecutive seasons from 1960-74), and received MVP votes in 11 additional seasons, including four top five finishes.

Brooks was elected into the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility in 1983. His number 5 was retired by the Orioles at the end of his final season. He is currently part of a Minor League baseball investment group that owns four teams in the Independent Atlantic League. My "local" Atlantic League team is the York Revolution, one of those teams, and the plaza outside the stadium is named in his honor.

Before wrapping up this post, I wanted to make sure to remind everyone about my contest. It ends on Sunday, and some people have already been earning bonus entries, so check my past few posts to see how you can too! Remember to stay involved. Good luck everyone!


Paul Hadsall said...

I love signed 1972 Topps cards. :)

SAinPA said...

I had the opportunity to play baseball with/against Brooks at a Field of Dreams game. He pitched against both teams and it was one of the most fun games of baseball I ever played. When we sat on the bench, he joked with us and gave us "noogies" as if we were life long friends. He also signed anything that we had to sign that day. I have a few pictures from that game and a signed baseball. Brooks is a true gentleman. They don't make them like him anymore.

Dustin said...

I love it when players, especially awesome ones, will sign every card or hat or flattened popcorn box you put in front of them. I hear Ripken did this, too, and I hope that's true. It's nice when your favorites are actually good people.

Greg Zakwin said...

I'd much rather a player sign everything and "cheapen" his autograph than refuse to sign.

night owl said...

I wrote about my brother's encounter with Brooks when he was little.

zman40 said...

I still chuckle to myself whenever I see a signed card of Brooks. His signature is so huge! Does it look that big on baseballs?

word verification: dearfan

Matthew said...

One of my friends from high school, born in 1978, is named Brooks. It truly must have been a great time to be an Orioles fan, when one player can have such an impression on a city. What a classy guy.

In this era, you'd have to be cautious of naming your kid after even an apparently clean athlete.

Orioles Magic said...

Paul- They really do look great.

Sals- That was such an awesome experience to have. Not many people can say that!

Dustin- It is so much easier to like a good person than a cocky guy who thinks he is better than us normal people. Unfortunately, many players today are the latter.

Greg- Me too. It makes it easier for my collection too.

night owl- I remember reading that back when you wrote it, and it's so surprising to hear a somewhat negative tale about him.

Zach- Yeah, his signature is pretty much huge on everything that he signs.

Matthew- Thanks for backing up my claim! And I agree. You never know what today's athletes will get themselves into.

Dawgbones said...

I work with a guy named Brooks, he's got a ferret named Mr. Bently!
Don't know about the "Human Vacuum Cleaner", but I got 4 of the four legged variety here at my house. They'll suck up anything that hits the floor, just watch out for Fred if you drop any BB cards!!

Dawgbones said...

Wow, stopped at Dollar General on the way home from work today, picked up 3 packs of UD Masterpieces, and Mr. Robinson came sliding out of pack #3. What odd timing!!

Orioles Magic said...

Very cool timing!

Dawgbones said...

very cool, indeed, that one's a keeper for sure. I will be posting about these packs later this week. And I think I'll have to hunt down a few more of these to bust open.