Great to hear from you

Well, after my first blogging, it was great to hear from so many of you, even my fellow blogger, Tommy Lasorda, one of my all time favorites. I enjoyed reading your postings and remembered quite of few of the stories that you told. I?ll certainly try to answer a few of your questions. If you get a chance, don?t forget to check out my website and the MLB Alumni site, too.

THIRD BASE

Mark asked for my opinion on who is better with the glove at third base: Scott Rolen or Eric Rolen Chavez? That?s a tough question. I?ve always said the best is whoever you want it to be. I?m of the opinion that if you watched Chavez for 162 games or Rolen for 162 games, you?re going to say, "Hey, this guy?s the best.? I don?t really get a chance to see either Eric or Scott play that much but I have talked to Tony La Russa about Scott and I?ve talked to Jim Fregosi who managed him in Philadelphia, and they both say he?s as good as there is at third base. And of course, Eric has won several Gold Gloves for Oakland and he has been one of the best. They are both terrific third basemen. 

In my day, I always considered Clete Boyer and Graig Nettles to be the best I played against. There was always that conversation about who was the best. I always tell people you don?t get better than Clete and Graig. It just comes down to who you watch — that?s the only way to separate them. I pChavezlayed with Luis Aparicio and Mark Belanger — how do you get any better than those two guys? You just watched them day in and day out make all the plays.

I get questions all the time about Mike Schmidt, especially the past few days while I was in Lancaster, Pa. Lancaster is a pro-Phillie town but if you go across the Susquehanna River to York, PA you?ll be in pro-Oriole territory. So, there was always that controversy. When Mike retired a few years after I did, I had a Philadelphia reporter who asked me who was the best — me or Mike? I told him the best was ?whoever you wanted it to be." He didn?t like the answer. He kept calling back. Finally, after the third call, I told him the greatest was Pie Traynor, Eddie Mathews was second, I was third and Mike was fourth. He didn?t like that answer — but I said it kind of tongue-in-cheek.

MY GREAT FRIEND, CHUCK THOMPSON

Octscotts asked me to share my thoughts on the passing of Chuck Thompson. Chuck was one of my all-time favorite people. He came to Baltimore about the same time I did — in the ’50s. We?ve been great friends since. He was one of the all-time great announcers. He?s in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I had the chance to work with Chuck for many years broadcasting for the Orioles. Chuck always had the right words for the right moments. I can remember one specific moment when I listened to Chuck and just sat there and shook my head knowing I was listening to the greatest. That moment came in 1979. Thurman Munson was killed in a plane crash and we were the next team to come to New York to play the Yankees. I was announcing the game with Chuck. Chuck put together a little eulogy — no notes — nothing. I just sat there in amazement. It was beautiful. Chuck was a close personal friend. The last few years were tough for Chuck and my thoughts are always with him.

MY NAMESAKES

Imthedaddypapa (that?s right — I don?t make up these names) posted that he named his oldest son Brooks — that?s quite an honor. I run into a lot of people who have been named after me — and a few pets, too. Last night, I ran into a good friend and long time great sportswriter, Bob Maisel, of the Baltimore Sun and he said he needed an autograph for someone who named their son Brooks. There are a few professional athletes that have my name. University of Wisconsin grad, Brooks Bollinger, is now playing football for the New York Jets. There?s also a fellow from the University of Texas named Brooks Kieschnick who was drafted in the first round by the Chicago Cubs and who played in the majors for a few different teams. I?ve met Brooks Kieschnick several times but haven?t had the chance to meet Brooks Bollinger but I follow his career.

BUSY WEEK

It?s been a busy week. It seems like I have quite a few busy weeks — but I enjoy it. On Wednesday night, I was in Lancaster, PA for the opening of the new Clipper Magazine Stadium and the home opener of the Lancaster Barnstormers. It was a perfect evening for baseball. Almost 7500 people were part of the sold-out crowd. I?m part of a group called Keystone Baseball. We put together this ballpark. I helped turn the first spade of dirt when they broke ground over a year ago and to see this stadium come to fruition was very exciting. Lancaster is in the Independent League. They are currently in first place in the South Division of the Atlantic League. You can check them out at their official site.

A lot of players who played in the major leagues and those who still believe they can make it to the big leagues play in the Independent League. Ricky Henderson, one of the all-time greats, is playing in the Golden Baseball League, an independent league in California, with hopes of returning to the major leagues. Ruben Sierra and Jose Lima are just 2 of many players that have returned to the big leagues from the Independent League. It?s a terrific league with terrific players. I was impressed with the play. Joe Klein, former general manager of several big league teams, is the Commissioner. We?re trying to do the same thing in York, PA, where I played my first professional ballgame in 1955 and also in Waldorf, located in Southern Maryland.

On Thursday night, I was at the Gala to open the new Sports Legends Museum in Baltimore. It?s right at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Camden Station is one of the oldest train stations in the United States. It?s been made it into a Sports Legends Museum. It covers all the sports in Maryland. The O?s and Colts are the most prominent. I have a lot of things there. If you?re down this way to see and O?s game, I suggest you go there. It was about 10 years in the making and they?ve done a marvelous job.

14 Comments

Brooks

Great blog on the lancaster opener! We had a great time!

And for once… it did’nt rain on one of our openers!

Murray Cook

I am actually a ?Namesaker? myself, as my parents named me Jeffrey Brooks Price. Your name would have been my first if there wasn?t a Brooks Price Buick dealership in Baltimore when I was born, the year you retired. You definitely made an impact on my family and my life, as I went to several shows to get your autograph when I was younger. I even have a picture of the two of us that my mom took at one show, which you signed for me the next chance I was able to come see you. ?To Jeffrey Brooks??

My father went to the O?s Fantasy Camp about 10 years ago and I came down in the middle of the week to join him. During the autograph session I came up to you with a duffle bag full of stuff I wanted you to sign for me and you were very gracious to sign everything I pulled out.

I thank you for what you have meant to me, for what you have meant to my family and the city of Baltimore. The Orioles were very fortunate to not only have your glove but also your grace and demeanor. I look forward to naming my future son after another Baltimore mainstay, Calvin, carrying on a rich tradition of Baltimore baseball.

Brooks:

I cant remember a bigger thrill than watching the Brooks Robinson Show against the Mets in that series way back in the 60s or 70s (Im getting old), either playoff or WS, I cant remember either, but sure remember your outstanding defensive performance. As a New Yorker, I hated you, but as a one who grew up with baseball in my blood, I admired you.

I have never seen such a defensive performance by any fielder, never mind a third baseman. There you showed how great you were, as the Mets hitters forced you to use all your resources.

JV

Mr. Robinson — Great to see you on the internet blogging. I’m over at cooperstown.mlblogs.com … I’ve had the chance to meet you and interview you for the Hall of Fame during HOF Weekend in Cooperstown the last few years, and you are a true gentleman. Hope to see you again this July 31 for the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. I remember last year the kids got a kick out of you emerging from the corn field during the youth clinic. It was a sight to see!

Question for you: I’ve always been interested in signs and sign-stealing in baseball. How often did the orioles change their signs, and who was the best sign-stealer you ever had as a teammate?

Brooks,

Great to see that you’ve joined the world of blogging. I have an Orioles blog myself at http://orioles.mostvaluablenetwork.com. I was wondering if you’ve had a chance to see Hayden Penn pitch today and what you thought of the young righty. Thanks a lot!

-Joseph

Great to hear from you.

Last time I saw you on the playing field was the last game at Memorial Stadium (I was right behind the 3rd base dugout, a few rows back from the Commissioner at the time, Vincent or Giammatti).

Sent shivers down my spine and brought tears to my eyes seeing your signature setup at third (sweeping your feet over the infield dirt) as the Field of Dreams music played.

Talk to the Earl of Baltimore much?

P.S. I met you down in College Park on one of your Crown promotional tours back in the mid-80s.

Brooks,
I was raised in California, but always an O’s fan – since I can remember (1969). Just recently my three brothers and I met in Baltimore (during the White Sox series) for the first of many yearly reunions to come. Each year we plan to hit a new ballpark across the US and we had to start with our beloved O’s. This was my first trip to Camden Yards, and needless to say, it was spectacular. What a treat. It’s so nice to be among the black and orange of Oriole fans and not the “outsider fan” while visiting the local stadiums. Brooks, you have always been the brothers’ favorite. Go O’s! Hopefully they’ll let the recent distractions subside and get down to JUST HAVING FUN AND PLAYING BALL! That’s what it’s all about. And when that happens… the wins will come in bunches. Take care. Steve

Brooks,

Hi, I enjoyed reading your blog. I got to talk to you a couple of years ago when you were doing a charity baseball game in Surprise, Arizona. I was wearing all Orioles stuff and I was able to get my picture with you. I never really got the chance to see you play in person because I wasn’t quite old enough when you played. From what my grandfather and mother told me, you were one of the best third baseman to ever play the game.

Hi, I just posted the last comment. I forgot to tell you my name. My name is Anya

Brooks,
Do you feel the owner of the O’s has helped the team or hurt the team? And as an out, I’ll defer the question to regarding AJ Burnett… (that’s generous).

Hey Brooks I agree with you on the interleague play. I originally thought is was terrible idea, but after several seasons I am an advocate. Anyone want to start a blog on the DH? National League is pure baseball but in American League we get to see professional hitters in the 9th slot. I think it should be resolved one way or the other with both leagues on same page! One last things Brooks thanks for having your picture taken with my son in Branson at ball camp there. He ended up playing college baseball and was very inspired by your appearance there.

Brooks.Have you ever been back to baltimore recently? I know youre around 70 years old.Im just wondering could you perhaps make one more apperance in the orioles uniform at a orioles old timers game? It would be a great honor to see the 1970s old orioles vs 1970s washington senators for like only 4 innings.Perhaps Starting pitchers should be **** Bosman vs Jim Palmer.It would be a great day to see those players again when i remember as a kid growing up .

Brooks, I’ve been a Chicago baseball fan all my life. There are those who say you can’t be a fan of both the Cubs and the White Sox at the same time, but that’s ridiculous. With interleague play in effect now, it does get a little tough deciding who to root for in those head-to-head series, but I usually just hope for a split of the season series. The Cubs broke my heart in 1969, and it looks like the White Sox may do the same this year, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

As a kid, I had dreams of being a major leaguer, but my dreams were much bigger than my talent. I ended up serving my country for 21 years in the US Air Force, and now work at the clinic at FE Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming. But I still follow my teams.

More than anything, I am a fan of baseball and every year I take at least one trip in which I catch several minor league games, along with a few major league games. I worry about the effects of steroids on the game. Records are such an important part of Major League baseball. I was overjoyed when Hank Aaron passed the Babe, but feel that it will be a very sad day when Bonds does. And even sadder when Bonds catches Hank. It bothers me that some day I’ll see the plaques of Sosa, Palmiero, and Bonds at Cooperstown while Ron Santo, a man who has given his all to the game, may be left out in the cold.

With all due respect to Mike Schmidt and George Brett, you are my choice as the greatest thirdbaseman of all time. But Ron Santo is my favorite thirdbaseman of all time. I was hoping that he would be inducted this year along with Sandberg. What a great day that would have been for Cub fans. Do you agree with me that Ronnie should be in the Hall Of Fame? Do you think there’s a chance for him? He has gone through so much in his life and given so much to the game, the city of Chicago and the Cubs. With all the cheaters that may eventually be in the Hall, it sure would be great to see the induction of someone who quietly battled a debilitating disease (diabetes) while still putting up Hall of Fame numbers.

Thanks for all the great moments you gave us!

Hi Brooks,
Once again, this is your friend Bruce from, Spring Grove, PA. One thought that had crossed my mind, and I hope that it’s not too personal, is how has Connie managed to handle the lifestyle of having, basically a legend for a hubby, and does she go with you on your different trips since you have retired for your autogragh signings and so forth.I am certain, however, you’re still the apple of her eye. Take care Brooks… Hope to see you soon. Bruce

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