It was a warm sunny day in Anaheim, CA when my parents brought me to watch the Angels play my baseball hero, Brooks Robinson for my 12-year-old birthday. I was a Little League Oriole and I played third base. And yes, my number was 5! Nolan Ryan pitched and Brooks got a couple of hits. It was one of the greatest days of my life. Immediately after the game, my parents brought me around the field toward the 1st base side of the Stadium. I didn’t understand what was happening, but they brought me to the where the visiting team exits the clubhouse to go to the bus where a large crowd had gathered. Somehow they arranged for Brooks to come out and take apitcher with me after the game. Just me. A large swing door opened, Brooks popped his head out, looked
and pointed at me to come over. I was frozen – then my parents pushed me through the crowd and stood in
front of Brooks with his hands firmly placed on my shoulders for a pose. It was one of greatest moments of my childhood!
The next season, a friend of our family was a reporter for a local newspaper. He brought me to as many games as I could attend and I was not going to miss seeing the Orioles. I’ll never forget walking onto the field, then into the dugout and eventually through the tunnel and into the locker room where the Orioles were suiting up for the game. I saw Jim Palmer, Bobby Grich, Boog Powell (who could miss him), Mark Bellanger, and Don Baylor. I couldn’t believe where I was. Then through the crowd of players I saw Brooks standing up to tuck in his jersey. He looked at me and then looked harder. He pointed
at me and hesitantly said – “Marc”? He knew and remembered my name. I just stood there and stared in disbelief. I took out the picture that had been taken of us the previous season and asked if he would sign it. To this day, 37 years later, I have that picture next to my desk.
It’s a cherished memory that a Hall-of-Famer of that caliber and a gentleman of that stature would remember my name. I imagine it would be like that for anyone. But just think that as large of a figure as Brooks Robinson is, there is a Lord of the Universe, Jesus Christ
that also remembers our name. He looks at us, points towards us, and acknowledges that we are special in his eyes and HE is our Creator and Savior.
Brooks C. Robinson Jr. played 23 seasons (1955-1977) for the Baltimore Orioles during a Hall of Fame career defined by outstanding defense and clutch play. Nicknamed the “Human Vacuum Cleaner” for his knack for sucking up balls hit near his third base post, Robinson won 16 straight Gold Gloves and set major league records at his position for putouts, assists, chances, double plays and fielding percentage.
Many consider him the best defensive third baseman of all time. The Orioles third baseman finished his career with 2,848 hits, 268 home runs and 1,357 RBIs. He won the American League MVP Award in 1964, hitting .317 with 28 home runs and 118 RBIs. Robinson was also awarded the 1970 World Series MVP.
The Orioles won two World Series titles during Robinson’s career — in 1966 and 1970 and Robinson was voted World Series MVP in 1970. Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983, earning 91.98 percent of the vote. Robinson was born in Little Rock, Ark., on May 18, 1937.