Brooks Robinson

Position: Third baseman
: Baltimore Orioles, 1955-1977

Brooks Robinson revolutionized the third base position. He was a soft-handed, accurate-armed man who did with reflexes and intelligence what can't be accomplished with just quickness and a strong arm. He won the Gold Glove 16 times and earned 15 straight All-Star Game starting assignments. Upon his retirement, Robinson held almost every major fielding record for third basemen, including most games (2,870), highest fielding average (.971), most putouts (2,697), most assists (6,205), and most double plays (618).

Brooks Robinson
No player will ever again wear No. 5 for the Orioles, and the probability is that
no one ever again will play 23 seasons in a Baltimore uniform.

Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 1937, Brooks Calbert Robinson was discovered while playing second base in a church league. The Orioles signed him in 1955 and brought him up after he hit .331 in the Piedmont League. He hit .091 with Baltimore that year. He split several more seasons between Baltimore and the minors, and by 1960 was the regular Oriole third baseman. For the next four years, he was respectable offensively, hitting for decent average and some power. He had a .303 batting average and 23 homers in 1962.

In 1964, Robinson batted .317 with a career-high 28 homers and a league-leading 118 RBI. His offensive production, as well as his sterling glovework that year, earned him AL MVP honors, though the Orioles finished third. Frank Robinson joined the Orioles in 1966, and Baltimore went on to its first World Series. Brooks hit .269 with 23 homers and 100 RBI that year. In 1968, Earl Weaver became the Orioles manager, and Brooks had the chance to star for a team that would finish first or second in eight of the next nine years.

Robinson's work in the 1970 World Series earned him MVP honors; he hit .583 in the ALCS and .429 in the fall classic with two homers and a highlight reel full of defensive gems. The vanquished Reds nicknamed him "Hoover" after the affair, expounding on his tag of the "human vacuum cleaner."

Robinson was the Orioles regular third baseman for 18 years. In 23 big-league seasons, he had over 20 homers six times and over 80 RBI eight times. He collected 2,848 hits, 268 home runs, and 1,357 RBI. Though he topped the .300 mark only twice, his career average was .267. He led AL third basemen in fielding average in 11 seasons, including five years and then four years consecutively. He also led circuit hot corner men in assists eight times, putouts and double plays three times, and total chances per game twice.

After retiring in 1977, he became a baseball broadcaster in Baltimore. Personable and very popular among baseball fans everywhere, Robinson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1983.

Here are Brooks Robinson's major league totals:


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