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irishgit (137)
05/07/2008

The best defensive third baseman in the history of the game, Brooks made a difficult position look effortless. His skill and his personality made him a deserved icon in Baltimore. I remember watching his performance in the 1970 Series against the Reds, slamming the door shut on their vaunted hitters time and again, playing, as Johnny Bench said, like he "came down from a higher league."

Most vividly I remember seeing him in Detroit very late in his career, slowed somewhat by age, diving to his right, spearing a hard grounder in foul territory, and firing a no-look throw off his back foot, back across his body, (think about that for a moment, and then remember that it was the kind of thing he did with regularity) to start a 5-4-3 double play and kill an Tiger rally.

The crowd gave a terrible, shuddering moan, then almost as one stood and cheered him off the field. He glanced up, almost shyly, shaking his head as he disappeared into the dugout, but the crowd kept it up, and pushed by his team-mates, Robinson came out and took curtain call in an enemy city.


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