To Maysw: Thanks for your comment here asking me about my days on Channel 2 with Scott Garceau and Chuck Thompson and wishing I were around more.
Well, I am around most of the time. I’m always going to a golf tournament or doing something. I follow the Birds mostly on TV. I get to about four or five games a year down at Camden Yards. I see Boog and **** Hall a lot and I’ll see Palmer next month at the Hall of Fame. Since I play in a lot of golf tournaments, I see Paul Blair and Al Bumbry and a few of the other guys I played with.
We all miss Chuck. He was the greatest. He helped me immensely during my broadcast years. When you worked with the best it made you better. He was the greatest. Scott is still broadcasting games and I run into him now and then.
Thinking about gloves
John, you’ll have to agree that it’s a great exhibit. This tour is sponsored by Ernst &Young. It has been great for the Baseball Hall Of Fame. It started as a 10-city tour and they’ve decided to add 2 more cities. I’ve been at the grand opening for 2 or 3 of them. It’s been great for baseball. If you are a fan of the game, you’ll enjoy the exhibit. It’s been a very popular exhibit all around the country.
John also asked about "being in the zone" when it comes to fielding and asked me if that was the case during the 1970 World Series. You do hear a lot of talk about being in the zone, especially when it comes to hitting. But then again, defense always gets overlooked in every sport.
To be in a zone when it comes to fielding, a lot of things have to come into play. You might play a whole series and not get a ball hit to you. But going into that series Mark Belanger and I knew we would get a lot of work on that side. The Reds had righties like Lee May, Johnny Bench, and Tony Perez. We had two lefties, Mike Cuellar and Dave McNally. Palmer had a great fastball and threw a change and a slow curve ball.
The thing no one remembers about that series is that the first ball hit to me was a 24 hopper by Woody Woodard. I made a high throw to Boog for an error. I’m thinking?. here I go again! After that it was like I was in the zone. I had the plays and made them. The more you make the more you want the ball come to you. In that particular World Series, every game I had an opportunity to make and outstanding play. I played almost 23 years of professional baseball and I don’t think I ever had 5 games in a row like that. It was a once in a 5 game series and it just happened to be the World Series.
Earl’s probably out golfing
Michael posted a comment about the last game in Memorial Stadium and asked me about my good friend Earl Weaver. Michael, I think the ceremony marking the last game at Memorial Stadium was one of the greatest days in Baltimore history. I get more comments about that day then any other. To see the greats go out on the field — the guys who contributed to the history of the Orioles — I had a tear in my eye, too. When they played the "Field of Dreams" music, it was like Icing on the Cake.
I see Earl four or five times a year. He’s mellowed. All he’s worried about now is breaking 90 on the golf course. I’ll see him in Cooperstown and at the All-Star Game in Detroit. We get to chat a lot. He is doing great. He lives in Florida and still has a daughter here in Baltimore so he gets up here from time to time.
What I’m up to
I’ll be heading to Detroit later this week for the All-Star Game. I’ll be spending some time with my son and daughter-in-law who live in Detroit. My wife is from there so we’ll be seeing a lot of family.
The last time Detroit hosted the All-Star Game was in 1971. There were 20 guys off those two teams plus two managers that went into the Baseball Hall Of Fame. I don’t know if that’s a record but it has to be close. After the All Star Game, I’ll head to Charlotte, NC to throw out the first pitch at a Charlotte Knights baseball game then I’m off to Myrtle Beach to visit my son and daughter-in-law and do a corporate appearance for the folks at Kraft Nabisco. You can always log onto my website at brooksrobinson.com to check out unique auction items and upcoming appearances. I’m looking forward to blogging again soon.
HARTMANJC asked me if I would have Scott Boras as my agent:
I played baseball for 23 years and had 23 one-year contracts. I could never have any one help me negotiate my contracts — you know who won that battle, the owners.
Back when I was young, if I were looking for an agent, I think I would have had several people helping me in Arkansas deciding who would be my agent, especially my Dad. When players first started to have agents, anyone could be an agent. There were a lot of unscrupulous agents out there. But almost all of those have been weeded out and what you see now are guys who help players in the long run. Boras would be one of guys I would interview or have my Dad interview but there are a lot of other good agents who might suit my personality.
Certainly Scott Boras gets some great contracts but there are many other agents that get great contracts, too. I think that the object is to start playing. Sometimes Boras’ clients have been helped by holding out and sometimes it has hurt them. Kids shouldn’t go right to the big leagues. There is a lot to learn in the minor leagues. You’re going from playing 50-60 games a year to playing 160 or so.
In my day, if you got more than $4,000 you were a bonus player and you had to go directly to the Major Leagues for two years. The owners kind of penalized themselves for giving the player all that money. I have never seen a kid come out of high school, other than a pitcher, who was ready to play in the Majors. You’re just inexperienced.
THOUGHTS FROM PENNSYLVANIA
Bruce asked if I remembered him and if I was going to be back in Pennsylvania now that I don’t do work for Best Chevrolet. Bruce, of course I remember you and Little Brooks! I worked with Best Chevrolet for many years. Since they sold their company I am now affiliated with Anderson Automotive Group in Baltimore. I bought my first car there 50 years ago when I came to Baltimore.
I’m sure I’ll be back to your area. I just made a visit to Ollie’s Bargain Outlet in York, PA. I’m in the Lancaster area a fair amount going to Lancaster Barnstormers games. They have a beautiful new stadium and a good tea. I feel very confident that York, PA is going to get a new ballpark also. It would be a tremendous value to the City of York…at least that’s my opinion. They need to be back in baseball. I made my professional debut in York, PA in 1955 as an 18 year old. I have many friends there. There is always something happening there. Check out my schedule on brooksrobinson.com for the next time I’ll be there.
Dgator97 asked when I’d be in Orlando. I did an appearance several months ago in Orlando. I don’t have anything on the schedule at this point. Thanks for thinking of me.
John asked about today’s third basemen: I chatted last week about Scott Rolen and Eric Chavez. I think Alex Rodriquez is one of the best players in the American League. I also think Melvin Mora here in Baltimore is coming into his own and has been a great player the last two years. He’s improved defensively and has become an outstanding hitter.
On Thursday, I hosted a press conference for the Brooks Robinson High School All Star Game. This is the 24th year we’ve had the game. It’s for all seniors over the state of Maryland. They are chosen by their coaches and participate in a tryout. If they make the team, they compete against each other in two squads — the North and South. They will be playing against each other July 10 after the Boston Red Sox Game at Camden Yards. My longtime friend, Joe Geier, sponsors the game.
It’s been an honor to me to see some of these kids to play in the game to go on to bigger and better things — like Mark Teixeira of the Texas Rangers and Gavin Floyd of the Philadelphia Phillies.
I’m in Homestead, Va., this weekend for the Sheetz’ Convenience Stores’ Golf Tournament to benefit children’s charities. Next Sunday, my good friend Boog Powell and I will be at Tidewater Sports in Norfolk, Va., then I head off to St. Louis for Al Hrabosky’s Charity Golf Tournament.
Chat with you soon. Brooks