February 2006

The glove and voter love

The Baseball As America Exhibit now moves to Detroit from March 11 through Sept. 5, and Kellia from Oakland — which is where the Exhibit last stopped — left a comment here about whether my glove that is touring in that Exhibit seemed small by today?s standards.

BrooksstatphotoI?m glad you got to see the exhibit. It?s been a huge success for the Hall of Fame. Much appreciation goes to Ernst & Young, who is a sponsor of this traveling exhibit.

My glove was an average glove. I always felt my glove was the normal size. Not too big and not too small. Most outfielders seemed to use bigger gloves than I did at 3rd base. I didn?t want a large glove because I had a hard time getting the ball out of the glove sometimes. I?ve seen a lot of gloves a lot smaller than mine including Joe Morgan?s and Mark Belanger?s. I always asked them, ?How did you catch anything in that glove?? I always used the ?H? web because you could always pull the laces tighter if it started to give some.

You can see a better view of that glove I wore in this photo if you go to my official site at brooksrobinson.com and check out the authentic memorabilia, including that 16×20 signed stat photo. There is appearance/booking info on my site as well, hope you will stop by and say hi there anytime.

George Miller asked if the Hall of Fame has become too hard on the new candidates and if guys like Rice and Dawson are deserving:

First of all I do think the Baseball Hall of Fame is the toughest Hall of Fame to get into. When you have almost 500 writers voting, everyone has a different opinion as to who should and should not be inducted. It is quite controversial. Certainly Jim Rice dominated the American League for 10 years. Andre Dawson did the same thing in the National League. I?m surprised they haven?t gotten more support for the Hall of Fame. There are no set criteria for attaining the Hall of Fame – that is the reason there is so much controversy.

More on my friend Elrod

Elrod_2Kellia from Oakland, Calif., commented about seeing Elrod Hendricks.

I just wanted to say a few more words about my favorite player. He was really the heart and soul of the Orioles Organization and Community. This guy gave so much during his career. He came up n 1968 after being in Minor League Baseball for many years. He played for Earl Weaver in Puerto Rico when Earl was managing there and that?s where Earl got to know him. In 1967, Earl sent Frank Lane down to take a look at Elrod in the Mexican League and the Orioles ended up bringing him to Baltimore in 1968.

He was a wonderful guy and absolutely the most beloved Oriole of all-time. Not only in Baltimore, but everywhere we went to play, Elrod would be the first at park, the first one on the field, the first one to sign autographs and the first to pat some kid on the head. He was just a wonderful gentleman and we?re going to miss him.
 

Pete Rose

Pete2Mr. Carey, thank you for your comment on my recent post. You did make some very good points. My opinion is that as long as Bud Selig is Commissioner, Pete Rose will not be made eligible for the Hall of Fame. Pete signed a 5-page document that banned him from the game. Rumor has it that he signed because either there was still more to come out or that he had made a deal with Bart Giamatti to serve his time and then get back into the game in good standing.

To set the record straight, it was marijuana, not cocaine that was found in Ferguson Jenkins? suitcase when he entered Canada. And you were right when you said Gaylord Perry threw a spitter. I think both were punished somewhat by not receiving enough votes to enter the Hall of Fame right away.

Also, as far as signings are concerned, today?s players and former players really have no say where they sit during an autograph show. Pete really had nothing to do with the timing of his latest book. I know he did not want it to coincide with the Hall of Fame announcement but in this case the publisher ruled.

I am with Pete 3 or 4 times in a year and I enjoy it very much. If Pete flips over next year into the Veteran?s Group, which is made up of all 62 living Hall of Famers plus about 20 other broadcasters and writers, I am afraid that he will find very little support from that group also.

I believe that the fact that he cannot put on a uniform, coach, manage or tell a story hurts him more than attaining the Hall of Fame.

BATTING HELMET

I get many emails and whenever I do speaking engagements almost every question is: Why did I have a short brim? I think I was the only player that wore Brooksswingthe short brim in the Majors and I never realized it got that much attention until I left the game. But back in the early ?70s, the Commissioner?s Office made it mandatory for anyone coming into the big leagues to wear a flap on your hat. If you were already in Major League Baseball you had a choice whether to do that or not. Of course, I wanted to wear the flap because it gave me more protection. I had been hit 3 or 4 times in the head and so the more protection, the better for me. When I got the helmet with the flap and put it on, it seemed like the bill was a little longer than my normal hat. The flap was a little longer and consequently when I went up to hit I could see the brim and part of the flap. It made me lose my concentration. I took care of it by taking a hacksaw blade and cut off about 1 inches off the brim and about off the flap. That?s how I got my short brim.

BRUCE SUTTER

SutterI was very happy to see Bruce Sutter get into the Hall of Fame. I have watched his climb up the ladder as far as attaining the 75-percent vote to get in. Certainly his qualifications meet all the standards when you talk about his impact on the game, his statistics, his longevity and what he brings to the game. Somehow I think there are a lot of relievers that have been lumped into one group. What do you do with a guy like a Goose Gossage or Lee Smith? It?s nice to see a guy like Sutter attain it because he was certainly one of the premier relievers of his era. I?m happy to see him attain the Hall of Fame.

WHAT I?M UP TO

This week I?m at the Orioles Fantasy Camp. I?ve done the camp since I?ve retired in the ?70s. I have a lot of fun putting on the uniform and trying a little baseball.

Also, on Feb. 18, I?ll be in Southern Maryland. Peter Kirk?s group, Maryland Baseball, is behind building a stadium in that area and certainly Southern Maryland is going to be a great area for baseball. There are a lot of people there and great baseball fans. I?ve been to several of their meetings and they are very enthusiastic fans down there. Whether it ends up being Independent Baseball or Minor League Baseball, I?m sure it?s going to be a success. They?re having their FanFest from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. I?ll be there with my good friend Ron Hansen, who was Rookie of the Year when he played with the Orioles. A number of other players will be there also. You can check out their website for more details.

You can find out more about my appearance schedule and look for memorabilia and more by going to my official site at brooksrobinson.com.