Sunday, April 20, 2014

Book review - Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson by Doug Wilson

Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (March 4, 2014)

In Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson, Doug Wilson gives us the first comprehensive biography of the legendary Baltimore Orioles third baseman--the greatest defensive third baseman of all time.  Wilson does a fine job in telling Brooks' story.

The only downside is that Wilson was unable to sit down one on one with Mr. Robinson for an interview.  This is, in part, due to Brooks' time in recovering from injuries sustained in early 2012 at a South Florida casino.  Wilson was able to speak with Earl Weaver prior to his passing away in January 2013 and a number of teammates, too.

Robinson is a class act and one of the nicest players you will ever meet.  It is because of this that Robinson stands out in the Golden Era of baseball.  His being on the Veterans Committee played a large role in seeing to it that Ron Santo was finally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2012.  Until his recent bout with cancer and injuries of late, you would have a hard time getting him to say no.  While other Hall of Famers would sign their autograph and move on to the next in line, Brooks not only signs but he also makes small talk with those people that he's signing for.  He takes pictures with them as well.

Robinson grew up a Cardinals fan in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he attended Central High School--graduating a few years before it was put on the map in the Civil Rights movement.  His family instilled a hard work ethic in him.

From 1955 until his retirement in 1977, opponents learned that they shouldn't hit the ball towards third base.  In doing so, it was an automatic out with the vacuum cleaner stationed at the base in Robinson.  The Cincinnati Reds learned this the hard way during the 1970 World Series.

Brooks played all 23 seasons of his career with the Orioles--a feat that would be rare in this day and age alone considering free agency and salary dump trading.  He became a role model both on and off the field as he honored the game with elegance, class, and character.  In his career, he won 2 World Series, selected for 18 All-Star Games, won 16 straight Gold Gloves, and three MVP honors: AL, All-Star, and World Series.

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