Reminiscing about the 1970 World Series

Junktrunk2000 asked about the 1970 World Series: 

Brooks1970wsAll I can say is that I played in four World Series and the two we were suppose to win, we lost, and the two we were suppose to lose, we won.  With respect to the call on Bernie Carbo, certainly, that play at home did change the complexion of the game.  The Reds pitching staff was hurting at that time and we were able to take advantage of that.  What you might not know is that even though Cincinnati was called the Big Red Machine we actually scored more runs than they did during that 1970 season.  We had guys like Woodling, Elrod Hendricks and Boog that could put some runs on the board.  I do think we were a pretty good team.  I do think the 1969 team that lost to the Mets was better than the 1970 team.  You just never know. I just happened to be in the right spot in that series.  I tell people that I played 23 seasons and I never did have five games in a row like I did in that World Series.  As an infielder you can go a week or two and never get a chance to do something spectacular. In this series, every game I had a chance to do something outstanding defensively and I was hitting well, too.  It was a once in a lifetime five-game series for me and it just happened to be in a World Series.

Daniel, thanks for your question.   I really didn?t keep that much memorabilia early on in my career. The last year that I played was in 1977 and that?s when the memorabilia business was in the early stages.  I do have some things.  I have the uniform of the last year that I played, my glove, spikes and the 16 Gold Gloves that I won from 1960-75.  Overall, I did not keep much.   Some items that I did keep, I put on my website and 100% of the proceeds go to charity (www.brooksrobinson.com).  I kept some bats that I used in the All Star Games.  I never really was interested that much in memorabilia.  I have sons that are 44, 42, 41 and a daughter who is 37 and they were never really interested in it either.  What I feel bad about is that I never started collecting baseballs in 1983 when I joined the Hall of Fame.  I just wished I had balls from Cool Papa Bell, Joe Sewell, Ted Williams and Johnny Mize.   Thinking back on it now there are probably about 50 Hall of Famers that have passed away since I joined the Hall of Fame in 1983 and I just wished now that I would have started collecting back then.

WoodlingRichard, Gene Woodling is one of my all-time favorite guys – not only as a player but also as a coach.  Gene said something to me many years ago that certainly helped me with my career.  As a young 19- or 20-year old I got four hits in a game and I came into the clubhouse and I was happy jumping up and down.  Woodling came over and said ?Hey Kid, don?t get carried away when you?re full of bull.?  That told me one thing ?- be humble.  Keep an even keel if you are doing well or doing poorly.  There are 162 games so don?t get carried away about what you do in 1 game.  I remember that more than anything else in my career.  Gene Woodling passed away a few years ago.  When he came to the Orioles he had that little unorthodox  batting stance, feet close together and he was crouched down.  He used one of the heaviest bats I?ve every seen.  It had to be a 42-ounce bat.  I used a 32- or 33-ounce most of my career.  He used that big bat and he was a terrific player and he played on five World Championship teams with the Yankees.  He was one of my favorite guys.

What I?m Up To:

I?ll be signing Norman Rockwell ?Gee Thanks Brooks? Prints at the Ollie?s in Pasadena, Maryland on December 10th.  I?ll be helping Santa give out gifts to kids on December 17th in conjunction with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police.  I?ll be appearing at the TriStar Show in Marlborough, MA on December 18th (www.tristarproductions.com).  You can always check out my website for the latest appearance information (www.brooksrobinson.com). 

8 Comments

Hi Mr. Brooks Robinson!
My name is Steven Lee and I’m in ninth grade in Los Angeles, CA. I go to Brentwood School and I love watching/playing baseball. I’m a huge baseball fan and I’m a collector of letters from baseball players. Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to recieve letters from legends like Carl Erskine, Sparky Anderson, and another MLB blogger “The Baseball Collector, Zack Hample”. I was wondering if you could be part of this collection. It would be nice of you to be part of my project. I’ve always wanted to ask you, “Which baseball player did you admire when you were a kid?” My email is dodgerssteven91@yahoo.com, and I will give you my home address via email.

Thanks again,

Steven Lee

Mr. Robinson,
I am 14 year old Jordan Goss. You are my hero. I have looked at some clips and movies from when you played, and love how hard you played. I think this is a stretch, but if you could send me something signed by you that would be awesome, but if you cant (which I understand) thats OK. Just email me at gossjordan@gmail.com if you can.

thanks so much,

JOrdan

Mr. Robinson:

Good Morning from Bamberg, Germany.

Your comments on the 1970 World Series are very good, and I want to thank you that you showed to me at a Subway Restaurant in Aberdeen, Maryland, back in 1980. I still remember your attitude to this day – extremely friendly and approachable, and you asked me if I was Boog Powell’s son. A memorable day, even if I am a lifelong Reds fan.

I look to the past for most of my baseball today, unfortunately. Ballplayers today just can’t touch many of our Hall Of Famers. You, Frank Robinson, Powell, Hendricks, Jim Palmer, and several others made up the 1970 Orioles, while Bench, Perez, Tolan, May, Nolan, and Rose made up the Big Red Machine. Unfortunately, thos memories and MLB’s standings in my mind are tarnished today, at least concerning the Pete Rose case.

With all due respect to Commissioner Selig, he has ran away from the Rose case as quickly as Rose ran down to first base on a Base On Balls during his prime.

Mr. Selig has, to this date, FAILED to rule on Mr. Rose’s application for Reinstatement into MLB, and Mr. Rose’s application has been on his desk since 1997. Mr. Selig, in my opinion, hides behind his “there have been no changes” comments, as well as some snideful former players and sportswriters.

Mr. Selig listened to Mr. Rose years ago, after Mike Schmidt and Joe Morgan set up a meeting with him in late 2002. Mr. Rose then admitted to his crime – YES, he’s guilty, and he doesn’t deserve to manage or be in a position to ever run a team again.

BUT Mr. Selig didn’t seem to look away from or discourage Mr. Rose, and didn’t say anything negative on Mr. Rose until AFTER his “damning book.” Big whoop – Mr. Rose made one or two stupid remarks. So have many other ballplayers, past and present.

Mr. Selig seemed to “dangle a bone” to Rose fans, leaving the possibility of Rose being reinstated, to at least have a chance to make the Baseball Hall Of Fame.

However, he has given into, and hidden behind the likes of Bob Feller, a great pitcher and great American, but a man who can seem quite hateful and arrogant. Let’s not forget Fergie “Coke Conviction” Jenkins, one who surely is an upstanding authority on “Unsavory Characters.” Let’s remember Gaylord “Spitball” Perry as well.

To me, Mr. Rose seemed quite contrite during his live interview on Good Morning America, and he was sorry about the HOF Annoucement timing, but to many in MLB, Pete Rose is The Devil Incarnate, even today. I see a man pawning his signatures away, cause he can make good money doing it. Former ballplayers will make sure they sit next to the man when they have the autograph shows, but he’s not good enough to have a plaque in the Hall.

Pity…all I see is a man who is slowing down, getting older, but he could do MLB some good by touring the Minors and talking to young players, telling them, “DON’T be stupid like I was.” Mr. Selig could capitalize on a Rose turn-around, IF Mr. Rose is sincerely sorry…seems he is, and MLB could benefit by his lessons, on and off the field.

Yes, Pete Rose was a jerk over the last several years of his life, and he’ll never be a Cal Ripken, Derek Jeter, or you in terms of class, BUT he was such a Plus for the game in his career.

Yes, this is a Greek Tragedy, but Mr. Selig has lacked the GUTS to give the “Thumbs Up” or “Thumbs Down” on his case.

If Mr. Rose never makes it into the HOF, he has only himself to blame, but MLB could show some heart to the man, AND to the family of Joe Jackson, and keep the integrity of the Game, which has suffered so much in the past several years…during the Selig regime.

If Mr. Selig would address the Pete Rose Case, for once and for all, by saying Yes…or No, he would earn a little more respect from me.

Thanks for your time, and please respond. Happy 2006!

J. CAREY

U.S. ARMY

Dear Brooks,
I just wanted to take a minute and properly thank you from the bottom of my heart for being one of the most genuine men and baseball greats that I have had the pleasure of meeting. My wife Kelley and I met you 2 years back at the Red Cross blood drive in Dundalk, MD. and Back in December in Harrisburg @ Ollies, we brought my wifes mother who was recovering from heart bypass surgery to meet you, I am sure that you remember us we drove through the ice storm there and were one of the first there and had a very candid chat for about 30 minutes. You made her year with that. I am looking forward to coming to see you again here upcoming at your Dugout Zone signing in Glen Burnie on the 19th of April 2008. I wish i had the chance to see you play back in your prime, but just from every chance I have had meeting you, I will say that you are definitely one of my favorite players. Thanks again and best wishes. Todd Widdows

Hi Mr. Robinson,
I’m Orangebird, a fellow Oriole fan and I greatly respect your work. I’ve meet you at the Washington Ayto Show once and at Camden Yards a couple times. What you forgot ot mention was your favorite paly in the Series. It was at Riverfront and there was a ground ball hit hard carving fall coming your way you fielded it and threw across the awful looking Cincy turf and gunned the runner down.

http://upin36011cc.mlblogs.com/

Hey Brooks! Its funny to hear your take on the expectations vs. outcome of the championship games. Underdog teams seem to have such an advantage in great sports! (NBA exempt) In my medical insurance office, we are constantly adjusting and reacting to the market, and I like to think of us as underdogs who are always defying the odds!

As fruit needs not only sunshine but cold nights and chilling showers to ripen it, so character needs not only joy but trial and difficulty to mellow it. Do you think so? jordan

Business underlies everything in our national life, including our spiritual life. Witness the fact that in the Lord’s Prayer, the first petition is for daily bread. No one can worship God or love his neighbor on an empty stomach. Do you think so?
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jordan

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