The first cheer from these gathered Monday morning at Camden Yards for Brooks Robinsons’s public memorial got here when, throughout a replaying of the legendary third baseman’s Hall of Fame speech, he thanked the town of Baltimore.
Robinson as soon as stated that the best spotlight of his profession was not any of his particular person accolades — of which there have been loads, together with his famed 16 straight Gold Glove awards — however having performed for one crew, Baltimore, annually of his profession.
“I played 23 years with the Orioles,” Robinson as soon as stated, “and believe me, it has come back tenfold to me.”
Robinson liked Baltimore and, with a celebration of life that started at 10 a.m. Monday on the sector at Oriole Park, the town received an opportunity to indicate its love for him as soon as extra with laughs, cheers and tears. Robinson died Tuesday. He was 86 years previous.
Many followers — although, as Robinson as soon as stated, he most popular to name them “friends” — wore his No. 5 jersey as they paid their respects. Some had been even named Brooks, having been given the moniker of the primary nice Baltimore Oriole.
“Brooks Robinson is Baltimore,” stated Janice Kondilas of Eastwood, an Orioles fan who attended the ceremony. “He is the Orioles.”
Hundreds sat on the ballpark’s third base facet for the hourlong ceremony, hosted by broadcaster Scott Garceau, to commemorate the beloved Robinson and listen to his members of the family, former teammates and rivals eulogize “Mr. Oriole.” Robinson performed in Baltimore from 1955 to 1977 after which spent a number of extra many years with the group.
“Little did my dad know that when he signed his first Major League Baseball contract in high school in 1955 that he would be engaging in a love affair with this organization and the city of Baltimore that would endure almost 70 years,” his son, Brooks David Robinson, stated.
As a tribute, Robinson’s No. 5 was positioned final week on the Camden Yards warehouse, painted on the sector and sewed onto the present Orioles’ uniforms for the rest of this season. In latest days, followers have positioned flowers on the 2 statues of Robinson on the ballpark.
Several present Orioles attended Monday’s ceremony, as did Chairman and CEO John Angelos and govt vp and normal supervisor Mike Elias. The Orioles clinched the American League East title simply days after Robinson’s demise and his granddaughter, Brooks Farley, stated that absolutely introduced a “huge smile” to his face.
“Rest in peace, Dad,” Robinson’s son, Brooks David, stated. “We love you, we miss you, and if there’s anything you can do up there to help bring a World Series championship to Baltimore this year, we would greatly appreciate it.”
Farley went on to say that, when she was youthful, she didn’t perceive why she was named “Brooks,” which was, in her estimation, a boy’s identify. Now, greater than ever, she’s honored to share it together with her grandfather.
“My grandfather lived an incredibly charmed life, fitting for the King of Charm City. … Heaven received an angel and a hell of a third baseman. No matter your relation to my grandfather, we are all better to have known him,” she stated.
Former Orioles first baseman Boog Powell, who caught so a lot of Robinson’s spectacular throws from throughout the diamond, highlighted Robinson’s fielding, his clutch-hitting capability and his character: “My friend Brooks was the kindest, nicest man I ever knew,” he stated.
Grant Farley referred to as Robinson, his grandfather, “my lifelong idol and my greatest hero,” and Hall of Famer Eddie Murray informed tales from the one season — 1977 — that the 2 Orioles legends overlapped. Former Oriole Doug DeCinces, who had the tall job of attempting to exchange Robinson at third base, stated Robinson was “the ultimate gamer, he was a leader, but more importantly, he was a friend.”
“He was more unassuming and down-to-earth than any superstar I ever met,” DeCinces stated.
Jim Kaat, the previous pitcher who additionally gained 16 Gold Glove awards, lauded Robinson not just for his fielding, but additionally for his underappreciated hitting. Kaat allowed extra hits to Robinson than to anybody else, he recalled, however he might by no means throw a pitch inside in an effort to sluggish Robinson down.
“I couldn’t do that to Brooks Robinson,” Kaat stated. “He was the face of our game. I thought if I knocked him down, it would be like knocking down Santa Claus or Mother Teresa.”
Joe Torre, the particular assistant to the commissioner of baseball and a former longtime supervisor of the New York Yankees, additionally praised Robinson and shared recollections, akin to when he, Robinson, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew and Stan Musial visited American troops in Vietnam in 1966.
“It’s sad that he’s gone,” Torre stated, “but what a life to celebrate.”
He went on to notice that Robinson will certainly be rooting the Orioles on within the playoffs — Baltimore’s first recreation is Saturday — which is “not even fair to the other teams,” he joked.
“I can tell you now, now that I’m no longer with the Yankees,” Torre stated, “I really admire the hell out of what you guys are doing.”
Cal Ripken Jr., maybe the one different Oriole as treasured as Robinson, additionally spoke. Like many youngsters who grew up within the space, Ripken stated, he regarded as much as Robinson as “baseball’s gentleman, on and off the field.” He made the group snort with a narrative — when a veteran Robinson hit a house run off a younger pitcher and informed him: “Don’t feel bad, I hit one off your old man, too” — but additionally choked up, as some followers did, when summarizing his ideas on a person as significant as Robinson.
“I will miss him. We will miss him,” Ripken stated. “But he leaves us with so many great memories that will live on.”