There are a couple variations of this quote about Brooks Robinson, and here's one of them: Associated Press writer Gordon Beard was emceeing a farewell ceremony for Robinson at Memorial Stadium in 1977 and, calling back to a remark by Reggie Jackson about wanting a namesake candy bar, he told the crowd: "Around here, nobody's named a candy bar after Brooks Robinson. We name our children after him."
Baltimore's love affair with the affable third baseman from Little Rock, Arkansas, runs deep. And while much of that had to do with Robinson's wizardry on the diamond--16 Gold Gloves and 268 home runs that helped usher in a dominant era of Orioles baseball--it had as much to do with his kindness and his willingness to sign an autograph or share a story with a smile.
So the team's announcement in the summer of 2018, when the sun was setting on the most recent era of competitive baseball in Baltimore, that Robinson would be returning as a special advisor was met, literally, with a standing ovation.
"It's been awhile since I've been associated with the Orioles, but I'm back, I'm doing some things in the community," he said in a welcome video. "So I hope to say hello to you here at beautiful Camden Yards."
What has that role entailed this year? It's meant Robinson signing autographs at Fan Fest. It's the Orioles legend making a video to endorse outfielder Trey Mancini for the All-Star Game. It's appearing at Frederick Douglass High School where a brand new field, built by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, was named in his honor.
"If this is not the Field of Dreams, I don't know what is," Robinson said at the dedication.
There wasn't a lot to cheer for in Birdland this season, but having a local treasure like Robinson around has been a delight.
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