Mr. 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.
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 the 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 ½ inches off the brim and about ½ off the flap. That?s how I got my short brim.
I 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.
Around the MLBlog Horn
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 posted that he and his family recently saw my glove from the 1970 World Series at a Baseball As America Exhibit.
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.