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October 26, 2009

An Evening with Brooks

brookssunfile.jpgIt was typical Brooks. He might be the greatest third baseman who ever lived – and certainly one of Baltimore’s most beloved figures – but he had to be all but dragged to the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall on Monday night for “An Evening with Brooks” – a night of testimonials for the benefit of the Legends Sports Museum and the American Cancer Society.

“They had to twist my arm for about a month,’’ he said.

Everybody knows the story by now. It took some special arm-twisting by Sandy Unitas to get Brooks to show up. It didn’t take much persuasion at all for anybody else, and just about everyone who is anyone in Baltimore sports was on hand to honor “Mr. Oriole.”

Sportscaster Scott Garceau and Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer served as Masters of Ceremonies for an event that was broken up into nine “innings” and featured stars from the entire spectrum of Baltimore sports history as well as some of the Cincinnati Reds players who competed against Brooks during the 1970 World Series which cemented his reputation as the “Human Vacuum Cleaner.”

Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t bothered to address Brooks by his full name, but that is no accident. Brooks will suffice in a sports town where he needs no further introduction. If you’re a Baltimore sports fan, you’re more likely to say “Madonna who?” than ask “which Brooks.”

“He was a very special player both on and off the field,’’ said Palmer. “As Davey (Johnson) used to say, ‘He’s just so unassuming.’ That’s Brooksie. That’s what made him so appealing.”

How unassuming? The guy just doesn’t feel comfortable being told what a great player he was and what a great guy he still is, but – in the end – he just couldn’t say no to the opportunity to raise money for the museum and the American Cancer Society, especially after his recent brush with prostate cancer.

“I’ve had enough adulation,’’ Brooks said. “I though that was over. My heart can’t take much more of this. But a lot of people have come a long way to be here…It’s overwhelming, to tell the truth.”

brooksSweeney.jpgThe guest list was too long to list here, but you know who we’re talking about. Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver held court on the second level of the Meyerhoff, describing how well Brooks treated him when Weaver was an up-and-coming minor league manager and how Brooks helped him get to Cooperstown.

I mean, how great a guy do you have to be to make one of the most irascible managers in baseball history go all soft and cuddly?

“It’s goes all the way back to Paul Richards when I would go down as a minor league manager,’’ Weaver said. “You watched him work, and he went from being a good ballplayer to a great ballplayer to probably, you’d have to say, the best defensive third baseman that ever played the game.

“I remember him when I was a minor league manager and he was always so polite. He always was like that. I’ve never seen him say no to anyone. There probably is not a person in this room who hasn’t shook his hand or got an autograph from him. I don’t think you’ll ever see anybody else like Brooks.”

If you don’t believe Earl, consider that even former Cincinnati Red Bernie Carbo jumped at the chance to travel to Baltimore to be part of an evening for the guy who robbed him and his teammates of a possible world title in 1970 with his highlight reel performance at third base.

“Brooks Robinson treats you like you’re the Hall of Famer,’’ Carbo said. “Very kind. Very humble. The thing I remember most is being a 23-year-old kid sitting on the bench with my teammates and watching him make those plays and wishing he was on our team.”

Baltimore Sun file photos

Posted by Peter Schmuck at 8:25 PM | | Comments (54)
Categories: Just baseball


They need ro take down that statue of Babe Ruth and put one of Brooks. All the Babe did for Baltimore was being born here.


I seconf Bill's comment...other players made fans; Brooks made friends everywhere he went and still does today.

With Johnny U gone, the best way to draw a crowd in Baltimore is to have Brooksie there...even more than Cal.

I have never heard anyone anywhere utter a single negative syllable about him.

Brooksie has lived here forever by choice, not by birth.

We need more folks like Brooks in the world of sports.

Let's suppose he played today--would his character be tainted by the $$$$?

I doubt it.

I don't think they should take down the statue of the Babe, but I do agree 100% with Bill and Ed, in that there should be a statue of Brooks at Oriole Park.

Brooks, is a class act and an icon which is a word that seems to get thrown around a lot to people who don't deserve it, but Brooks does. I know there is animosity between P.A. and Brooks, but I still am holding out hope that Andy, can someone be the guy to bring them together. Andy named his dog after Brooks and said that he was his all time favorite player so if peace will get done, it will be with Andy at the helm.

I've said this before, but it's worth repeating that as much as I hate the Sox and Yanks, they know how to honor the men who gave everything to those franchises and it would be nice to see more and more Oriole greets honored in special ways so younger generation of O's fans, will know who these guys are.

The evening with Brooks is one that my son and I will never forget. You could see that the Orioles of the 60's sure had "chemistry". Wish the athletes of today were playing because they loved the game like Brooks did. I'm glad his grandkids got to see how loved Brooks is in Baltimore. It was a perfect night.

The evening with Brooks is one that my son and I will never forget. You could see that the Orioles of the 60's sure had "chemistry". Wish the athletes of today were playing because they loved the game like Brooks did. I'm glad his grandkids got to see how loved Brooks is in Baltimore. It was a perfect night.

The best comment so far is "We need more folks like Brooks in the world of sports." from Ed D. But if your from Baltimore? You know there will NEVER be another Brooksie!

I love ya Brooks. You and Frank are why I "Luv those Birds" !

The best comment so far is "We need more folks like Brooks in the world of sports." from Ed D. But if your from Baltimore? You know there will NEVER be another Brooksie!

I love ya Brooks. You and Frank are why I "Luv those Birds" !

The best comment so far is "We need more folks like Brooks in the world of sports." from Ed D. But if your from Baltimore? You know there will NEVER be another Brooksie!

I love ya Brooks. You and Frank are why I "Luv those Birds" !

It's really a shame there's hard feelings between Brooks and the current management of this team.Is Ron Santo still complaining he isn't in the HOF because his numbers are better than Brooks? Was Santo MVP of the league,playoffs,world series and all star game? Brooks was Mr. Clutch.Wish I knew the scoop on why he has the hard feelings.

It's really a shame there's hard feelings between Brooks and the current management of this team.Is Ron Santo still complaining he isn't in the HOF because his numbers are better than Brooks? Was Santo MVP of the league,playoffs,world series and all star game? Brooks was Mr. Clutch.Wish I knew the scoop on why he has the hard feelings.

if you look up the word "class" in the dictionary there is a picture of Brooks!

The tragedy of the Oriole franchise is that the current owner can't tolerate the former player who is the not just one of its one or two best players, but the finest human being to ever wear the uniform. God bless Brooks and God save the O's

I was privileged to see Brooks play "live", from the time he signed as a phenom 2nd baseman in 1955. I was at Memorial to see him in game 4 the "Brooks" World Series of 1970.
But the most memorial encounter with Brooks occurred about 20 years ago at a Crown gas station in Severna Park. He was there for an autograph session. In spite of the crowd, Brooks was patient, personable and gracious to all
who attended. It showed me what a wonderful human being he is.

... and no current Orioles showed up . What a bunch of classless , selfish , losers we have on this team . Losers both on , and off the field . Case in point , Elrod Hendricks funeral . Other than Melvin Mora , no one attended . Sorry to use this space to blast current team when we (I) should be lauding a true sports hero in life , and true gentleman off the field , Brooks Robinson .

Pete's reply: I just don't get what you're upset about. This wasn't Elrod's funeral. I'm the guy who wrote the column that caused the controversy over only one active player showing up for that, but this isn't the same kind of situation. The event was a trip down memory lane, so the people who needed to be there were the ones who know and remember Brooks. I think it's disrespectful to Brooks to turn it in this direction.

I've never been able to figure out where the animosity between Brooks and the current Orioles team stems from- can anyone enlighten me? It's sad that Brooks gets more recognition in York, PA, where there is a plaza named after him, than here in Baltimore.

According to one baseball card I have, Brooks was actually drafted as a catcher. I always wanted to ask if that was true. It certainly would have been a more unusual course to take than Cal be drafted as a pitcher, then going to third base, then to shortstop and then back to third.

Several years ago, I taught at a local sports club. Between lessons, the young lady who also worked at the club asked me to take a stack of towels into the men's room. While the saying at the time was "You've come a long way, baby," going to the men's room was still going too far.

Anyway, I walked into the men's room with the fresh supply of towels and there was the human vacuum cleaner wearing the last one that was previously there.

With a nod and a smile, I acknowledged seeing him but I respected his privacy and kept walking to the towel cabinet. It was Brooks who initiated a conversation with me.

There was nothing earth-shattering about our conversation. How are doing? How was your game? That sort of thing. For all he knew, I might have been a minimum wager whose job was to resupply towels to the men's room. He wasn't a regular at the club. But, he didn't care either. Being nice was as second nature to him as throwing a hitter out at first.

It later dawned on me that our conversation never included baseball. For all he knew, I had no idea he was a hall of fame third baseman. Obviously, he was too much of a great guy to somehow interject who he really was. He probably enjoyed the sense of anonymity.

A part of me still wishes I had asked him if he ever caught.

What best sums up Brooks for me was a story one of my friends told me about meeting him in the mid-1980s. She recognized him and told him that she used to live in Baltimore and had seen him play at Memorial Stadium. She said he seemed genuinely happy to meet someone from Baltimore, and they talked baseball and Baltimore for about 15 minutes.
I couldn't agree more with the suggestion about the statue of Brooks. Not only would it be a fitting honor, but Angelos could use the positive PR.

Brooks is a treasure and a total gentleman. I once was working an event downtown, and met Brooks outside as he was on his way in. Just then a homeless guy rushed up and asked Brooks to autograph his newspaper. Brooks answered happily that he would, signed his paper, and proceeded in. He treated that man the exact same way he treated the suit-wearing VIPs inside the hotel he went into.

It is yet another stain on the disgraceful current Oriole franchise that this man isn't being welcomed into the VIP suites at Camden Yards and held up as an Oriole legend. Peter Angelos, for somehow managing to alienate someone like Brooks who doesn't have an enemy in the world, you are a disgrace and an embarassment to the city. We hate you for this.

Pete, maybe think about doing a story on how this happened? Make Angelos answer for this because the fans in this city take this personally, believe me.

Brooks makes me proud that I held him as my hero in sports, Baltimore is so fortunate to have had Brook Robinson as well as John Unitas as pro athletes. I am so happy to have named my son Jason Brooks after him and it is no wonder that my son has grown to be such a good person just as my idol was and still is.

Hi Waspman,

I believe Brooks was signed as a second baseman out of high school by the Orioles and was shifted to third by Paul Richards early in his development.

Age brings few gifts as important to me as being fortunate enough to have followed Brook's entire career from his first appearance as an Oriole to his last game.

I have also been lucky enough to have talked with Brooks in casual business settings over the years. One I will never forget is having the honor of sitting at the table at a Holiday business dinner and talking baseball with him for hours a couple of years back.

Brooks thinks that money has ruined the game. He said" Can you imagine what Frank Robinson or Boog Pwell would be worth if they were playing today?" Humbly, he did not opine as to what he would be worth.

Since then, I have seen Brooks in public many times and merely said "Hi Brooks" in passing, and he always smiles and says"Hi"back.

The last time I saw him was at BWI airport about a year ago. I passed him in the terminal, and said "Hi" and he stopped briefly to smile and shake my hand before heading for his plane.

The Orioles will regret missing the opportunity to include Brooks as a goodwill ambassador for the team.

Brooks is the Orioles.

Mr regret is that I wasn't born earlier so I could have appreciated watching Brooks play. I remember the unforgettable series Brooks had in 70 but I was still only 15. Baltimore is blessed to have a couple of basball icons like Brooks and Cal! If you want to know how popular Brooks was/is, you should have gone to Cooperstown. It was the largest Baltimore party ever and it was hundreds of miles away. Thank you Brooks, from our hearts!!

Pete, what is a real shame is that I heard there were ZERO current Orioles on hand for this event. It's really a shame that a night to recognize someone so special to Baltimore and to benefit two great organizations was not attended by one current player. Brooks helped build Baltimore baseball!

Pete's reply: You know, I heard that, but I was there and there were 1,500 people there. I didn't see any current Orioles, but I couldn't say for sure there weren't any. There were at least a dozen people there who other people told me I should say 'hi" to, and I couldn't find anybody. The crowd was pretty big. By the way, I didn't see any current Ravens, current members of the Blast or any cast members from "Homicide." Doesn't mean they weren't there, and I don't know what it does mean if there weren't.

It amazes me how if true, not one current Oriole showed up for this event.How many current players watched him as a kid growing up and could not take the time? What does this say about our team and organization from the top down. Peter A., what do you think about when you wake up in the morning? No Class at all. Is the same issue when Elrod passed except for the stand up guy in Mora. The club as a whole has no clue! What a shame for the city and fans!

My first memory of baseball was the 1970 World Series. I was 6 years old at the time. I remember my grandfather and father ( who are bothe life-long Yankee fans) commenting on Brooks. I met Brooks once years later and Brooks the ballplayer was good but Brooks the person is GREAT! This man is a total class act and I agree with all the previous post that it is a shame no current Orioles were present. I like my family am a Yankee fan, but I respect and admire Brooks. Maybe the current Orioles should learn and respect the history of the Orioles and the game in general instead of waiting for their next paycheck. You are a class act BROOKS!

All I can say is "Thanks Brooks!" Brooks and Johnny U were my athletic idols growing up in Balto. What fond memories of my childood and adolescents trying to emulate my 2 idols on the field. "Thanks again Brooks!"

I first observed and met Brooks at O's spring training at Scottsdale in 1956.At end of a day's session,he approached a coach and wanted to hit some more.Coach replied" Both of your hands are covered with blisters.Why?" Brooks replied"Maybe some day I can hit 300 and all of this will pay off.A very profound statement from the type you would like for your daughter to marry...

Peter, you wrote that "just about everyone who is anyone in Baltimore sports was on hand to honor 'Mr. Oriole.'" I understand no current Oriole players were in attendance, which is shameful. Did anyone from the organization's front office show up? Peter Angelos? Either of his sons? Andy MacPhail?

Pete's reply: Andy MacPhail and lots of O's front office people were there. The Orioles were the co-sponsor of the event. Lots of former O's there, of course. Lots of former Colts. I didn't see any current O's or Ravens.

Brooks was the first major league player and Oriole to sign a baseball for me. I was eight years old and Brooks showed up at the opening day of Rodgers Forge little league. I still have the ball to this day.

I used to respect Brooks that was until he left an autograph signing in Ocean City a few months back promptly at 3:00. I was in line with my 5 year old son, I am not an autograph seeker or reseller of signed merchandise, there were a couple of people in front of us. Brooks was up and gone at would have only taken another 20 minutes to get through the line. He is just as bad as the rest of the pro players, he forgets that it is the people that will carry on his legacy. What a waste...

Question: How many CURRENT Orioles attended last nights event?
Answer: The same number as wins I have as a starting QB in the NFL.... NONE

And they wonder why NO ONE cares about baseball anymore in this town. My kids and their friends could care less about the Orioles and this is one of the biggest reasons. Could you even imagine an event in New York to honor one of the greats where all the old Yankees showed up but not one of the current players? WOULD NEVER HAPPEN. ANGELOS YOU HAVE DESTROYED A ONCE GREAT ORGANIZATION!

...............................................................................................Pete's reply: Stop it. Lost in this phony controversy is the fact that the Orioles helped put on the event for Brooks. I didn't see any current Orioles, but I don't know what difference that makes in this particular context. Dozens of Orioles front office employee and MASN employee were there. This wasn't Elrod's funeral, so get over it.

How about Brooks Robinson Park at Camden Yards!

I will cherish the memories I have of the greatest Orioles teams...even as a child laying beside the radio listening to games...Memorial Stadium...watching and (getting) into drunken fights after the game...struggling to find parking until you paid some local black dude a few bucks to park in his alley lot...the super-packed ham sandwiches from the old Stadium Lounge...I can still recall the wretched but revered smell of the stadium, too...the wild celebration in the streets outside the stadium when we won the Series in '83...I wouldn't change any of it...I will cherish those memories until the day I die!

Brooks Robinson is all that is right about baseball, how a city loves its athletes and how the city loves them back. He is an extraordinary human being that every kid who plays baseball should know about - on and off the field.

Rob- I guess you wanted to make a point by posting the same comment 3 times. I wasn't in OC and have no idea as to why your son was left without a B Robby autograph. I can guarantee you it most likely was beyond Brooks' control; perhaps that day he had to be elsewhere after 3. I believe the many positive thoughts here are much more indicative of the type of human Brooks Robinson represents than the one you are trying to portray. You do not know Brooks' repuatation or history very well at all. If today's professional athletes used Brooks as a role model, you would not have the attitude you have!!!!!!!!

Brooks is a class act. I wish more professional athletes were like him.

When I was a little leaguer, I had my picture taken with Brooks on the field at Memorial Statdium. It was one of those "picture days" that the 1960's Orioles had on Sundays where the players lined up on the foul line and your parents took pictures of you and your favorite players. More than 40 years later, I attended one of those autograph sessions and Brooks signed the back of the picture for me. Just the brief conversation we had about those days was priceless. One of the great moments of my life. We need a statue of Brooks at Camden Yards.

He is the greatest player to ever put on the O's uniform. Not the best (F. Robinson and Brooks would say so himself)but the greatest. He was a talented over-achiever, a rare combination of God given talent and hard work. Add to that his humble attitude and his desire to make this city his adopted hometown for fifty+ years.

The sinful pride of an arrogant, stubborn man (and his two arrogant sons)is all that stands between Brooks re-uniting with a franchise that he helped shape for 23 years. I pray he continues with his good health, enjoys his family and hope that he gets back to the ball park on a somewhat regular basis.....before it's a situation where everyone is memorializing him.

I didn't post three times. Other than that I have been a life long O's fan, and Brooks fan...why else would I take my kid to see him? My first book report was on Brooks. I get the history and believe that he like many others played for the name on the front of the jersey not the one on the back. However, I have told my kids about the legends of my youth when atheltes not only played for the love of the game not the love of money. My best memories are those shared with my grandfather on 33rd street. I am just disappointed that my child missed out because he had to get back to Baltimore...that is what we were told. The fans make the players who and what they are, it is the responsiblity of the player to wait until all the fans are gone to leave, not just to leave those who stood in line for over 2 hours high and dry.

Pete's reply: Having spent 30 years around ballplayers, I've seen many instances where a player is left in an impossible situation when it comes to autographs. Is it possible that Brooks had another line of people somewhere else who were expecting him at 3 p.m.? It's sad that a guy who has signed -- quite literally -- a million autographs gets called on the carpet for only staying the time he previously agreed to stay for. The guy has gone above and beyond his whole career, and you're mad at him for the rare time he couldn't stay into extra innings and sign? Even Cal, back when he was doing his thing in the stands on his way to the record, had to leave people in line every night. That's just part of the whole autograph thing. I've seen guys sign for a half-hour in the parking lot with their wives waiting in the car, and when they finally have to leave, the people who came up late start booing them and telling them they're jerks.

All I know is that for a time we all understood and were able to watch greatness at 33rd st. As a young boy there was nothing better.

Rob, just get over yourself. At worst, you had an isolated experience that was totally out of character for Brooks Robinson. There's no need to keep posting negative comments when by all other accounts, Brooks is the consummate gentleman and a true role model.

leave it to nestor to start the crap about who was there and who wasn't... WHO CARES...those that attended did so and are better for it. Celebrate Brooks and the Orioles. I am tired of hearing a bunch of crybabies from wnst whine about PA and so on and so forth...

Nice reminiscences about Brooks. Here's another I heard on the radio a couple of weeks ago:

Get over myself....look and listen to yourself. You have made an excuse for a man you don't even know. Hear me, the man got up and walked away promptly at 3:00, he walked away and had to get back to Baltimore. He left his fans and walked away. You don't see a problem with this. We stood in line for 2 hours. How is this out of character for Brooks he was the one who got up and left his fans standing there? I think if he was worried about his character he would have stayed until every person got a picture or autograph. I never said he wasn't a role model...I did my very first book report on the man, I have pictures in my office of him. All I am saying is that he let his fans down on that occasion. When you hype another person up to your child and he lets your kid down, I think it is justified to be a little pissed and see that person in a little different light.

Pete's reply: Rob, I'm unclear here. Did you pay to get his autograph and ended up without it? While I'm on the subject, I remember an incident with Angels reliever Dave LaRoche, whose sons now play in the majors. He was a very nice guy and one night he stood outside the team bus signing autographs until the traveling secretary told him they were going to miss their plane if they didn't leave. He said "Sorry everybody, I really have to go." A woman in the crowd screamed, "See, you guys are all alike. How can you let down my kid like this?" He got on the bus and looked like he was going to cry. I mean, c'mon people.

Gil, I knew Brooks played 2B at Vancouver. I'm not sure if he played 2B for the Orioles in his early call-ups and was switched to 3B to replace George Kell, or if he always played 3B in the majors.

The catching thing was mentioned on an old baseball card. I won't bet the farm it's 100% accurate.

Pete , for once I have to take issue with you and strongly disagree with your calling the fact no current O's attending a "phoney controversy."
What better way to blend the old with the new . We're tired of the lip service we get from these guys , and the truth is they have no idea of the Oriole tradition and as shown by they're actions , could care less . Stop being an apologist for these self - serving losers .

Pete's reply: So, since you know exactly what should have happened. Should the O's have ordered all the players on the current roster to fly in for the event? Or just made a couple of players come?

If Brooks had to get back to Baltimore, then he HAD to get back to Baltimore.

On the other hand, I do see a problem waiting in line with a child for two hours to get any autograph ... and it's not with the person sitting at the table.

They need to take down that statue of Babe Ruth and put one of Brooks. All the Babe did for Baltimore was being born here.

Posted by: Bill | October 26, 2009 11:15 PM

AMEN!!! It's a no brainer!! I wish I could have been there last night.

I rewatched the games of that '70 Series recently on MASN. I remember watching most of the games as a kid. I was even MORE amazed watching 39 years later. I have never seen a FIELDER dominate a game like that. He hit like crazy too! He was clearly the MAN that Series.
When he retired I almost cried.

The sinful pride of an arrogant, stubborn man (and his two arrogant sons)is all that stands between Brooks re-uniting with a franchise that he helped shape for 23 years. I pray he continues with his good health, enjoys his family and hope that he gets back to the ball park on a somewhat regular basis.....before it's a situation where everyone is memorializing him.

Posted by: Rob K. | October 27, 2009 12:17 PM

ANOTHER great point!!

Rob, cut out it right now. Did you ever consider this may have been during the time Brooks was battling cancer????
If you had the nerve to utter this bs in front of me at that line on that day in OC, I'd have punched you right in the mouth & really give your kid something to remember!

I'm going to step in between Brian and Rob (not to be confused with me, Rob K.). Rob, if I remember correctly, you posted these same comments another time on another Sun Blog. I think part of the reason I use my last initial in here is because I didn't want to get confused with you.

In that particular blog, the owner of the OC establishment that had Brooks signing that day clearly answered you then. Brooks had to get back to Baltimore to make another engagement he had promised by 6:00. You and I both know how long it takes (roughly) to get back to Baltimore from OC. In fact, the owner said Brooks was quite upset about having to leave with so many people in line. That shows how classy he is....he was torn between leaving one session but was honoring his word to make another.

This is still the US of A (for now)and freedom of speech is still allowed (for now) but your negative comments show no class whatsoever.

Please don't reply.

Brooks Robinson is the greatest man to ever wear an Orioles uniform ! Brooks and Johnny U were my childhood role models.

I don't know what caused the riff between Brooks and Angelos, but It's a disgrace that this man 1. Isn't involved with the O's in some capacity. 2. That there isn't a stature to honor his commitment to the Orioles, to Baltimore and to Maryland.

There will never be another Brooks Robinson ! He will go down in history as one of the most beloved athletes in the history of sports !

I hold PA and AM responsible for not requiring the current Orioles to attend this event. Brooks should be the role model for any current Oriole who hopes to aspire to greatness. There is an alarming disconnect between the current Orioles and the communities in Maryland. Even more alarming is the disconnect between current Orioles players and the greats of yesterday.

Melvin Mora was the only player to show respect to Elrod, by attending his funeral. That says a lot of the character or lack there of, when it comes to the modern player.

Brooks was right when he said the money has ruined the game. It's ruined all of professional sports.

I salute you Brooks. Thank you for so many wonderful memories. Thank you for being a role model for me. I was an athlete and I played the game just the way I saw Brooks play it.

GOD Bless you and your family Brooks !

Thanks For the memories and the CLASS, Brooks.
Two years ago in Leonardtown, Md., I got the chance to meet my Favorite Ballplayer. We were at the Veterans' Day Parade,(yes, Mildred some towns still do this). Along with Steny Hoyer, Brooks was one of the speakers. All the people there were entranced by his talk. Because that is what it was, not a speech, but a talk. Afterwards Brooks signed autographs all afternoon and several people had the pictures taken with Brooks. I had mine taken as well. WOW !!!!!!!! He listened to people and always enjoyed all the people around him.
Rob, don't give up on meeting Brooks. Keep trying, it is definitely worth it. It took me 55 years.
Lets start a petition to get that statue build.!!!!!


I was in FL for spring training one year and after BP Brooks was asked by an older lady to pose for a photo.

It was 95 and with Florida humidity and Brooks was in one of those old WOOL uniforms. He'd been practicing all day and was drenched in sweat.

Brooks stood there waiting for at least 5 minutes while the woman tried to get the camera to work...she just couldn't figure it out.

Brooks went over to her and showed her how to work the camera, took a picture of her with it, then stood there and let her take the shot she wanted, even though she still struggled with the camera and then signed autographs for all the people who showed up while all this was going on.

I also saw him in the 80's at a Sunpapers Honor Carrier Dinner with 500 people there and he stayed until everyone who wanted an autogrph and/or photo got what they wanted.

My point is, if Brooks left with people still there, it had to be so as not to disappoint someone or some group elsewhere.

I'd stake my life and that of my children on it.

He was and is the most approachable superstar I have ever heard of...and when you only need to mention his first name to know exactly who your talking about, make no mistake, you are a superstar.

Now, Mr. Angelos...about that statue...

I'm a lifelong Orioles fan going back to the first year I really got into the Orioles. The year was that magical year of 1966. There was no greater fielder or greater late game clutch hitter than Brooks.

However, I'd like to write about a story of a friend of mine that had an unfortunate accident several years ago. A branch with thorns had accidentally snapped in his face and the result was a very serious injury to his eye that required extensive surgery. My friend was blinded in that eye and was very upset the day before his surgery and worried about his future.

All his friends knew that Brooks was his childhood hero and someone must have contacted him and told him about the situation. Brooks went out of his way to call my friend at Hopkins the night before his surgery to personally wish him a successful surgery and try to give his morale support.

What an incredible surprise - I am happy to report that the surgery went well and my friend has regained sight. This is testimony to the fact that Brooks is a special person as well as a special athlete.

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Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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Search our new database for every home run hit hit by the O's and the opposition — home and away — since 1992.

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