Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Brooks Robinson, 2003 Topps All-Time Fan Favorites #148
On this date in 1977, Brooksie made room on the roster for Rick Dempsey (who had been sidelined with a broken finger) by announcing that his legendary 23-year career was over. The longtime O's third baseman was certainly one of those players that wrung every last drop of baseball ability out of his body, as he had appeared in only 24 games in his final season, including 15 starts. He batted just .149 (7-for-47) with a .212 on-base percentage and .255 slugging.
Even his final game appearance was underwhelming. In the bottom of the ninth inning on a Saturday evening in Baltimore (August 13 to be exact), he was announced to pinch-hit for Al Bumbry. There were two outs, and the Birds were trailing Oakland 9-6 with Lee May standing on second after hitting a double. But A's manager Bobby Winkles replaced lefty pitcher Bob Lacey with righty Doug Bair, and Earl Weaver countered by sending Tony Muser to the plate instead of Robinson. Muser struck out to end the game.
Nevertheless, Brooks had given the fans of Charm City plenty to cheer about in more than two decades in orange and black, and they got one last chance to salute their hero with "Thanks Brooks" day, a celebration coinciding with a Sunday, September 18 game.