Although known for winning an incredible 16 Gold Gloves during his career, Brooks Robinson will now be honored in bronze outside Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Yesterday the Baltimore Public Art Commission approved the installation of a 9-foot tall statue of Brooks in a plaza outside of the Yard. The statue should be in place for the start of the 2011 season.
I think many long-time O’s fans would argue that an honor like this is long overdue for Brooks, who played in 23 seasons in Baltimore. Although I never saw him play I grew up in a family of devoted O’s fans who followed his career closely on and off the field and I don’t think I ever heard anything negative about him. He was a consummate professional on the field and embraced the greater Baltimore community as his home and has remained committed to numerous charitable efforts here. Many today would still anoint Brooks as the face of Baltimore baseball and, in that vein, it is important that newer generations of O’s fans appreciate what a special player and Baltimorean Brooks was.