Player Collection Spotlight – Brooks Robinson

I was in Little League back in 1985, playing third base. I had a game where I made a few diving stops to rob some base hits. After the third one, the umpire said he’s going to start calling me Brooks Robinson. I had no idea who he was, so I just thanked him and went about my day.

In the days and weeks that followed, I started to do some research. During the rain delays on Brewer telecasts they used to show old World Series highlights. I watched the 1970 highlights, from Robinson robbing Lee May in Game 1 to gobbling up a ground ball from Pat Corrales for the final out in Game 5. I was sold.

Robinson is another of the great defenders that I admire, along with Ozzie Smith, Pudge Rodriguez, and to some extent Jim Gantner. He was signed by the Orioles in 1955 and played for 23 seasons. He was an 18-time All-Star and racked up 16 Gold Gloves, more than any other position player. His defensive prowess is legendary and he earned the nickname of Human Vacuum Cleaner.

For those who have been following my posts, you know that I collect Topps Flagship, Traded, and Update sets. Starting in December, I have added Fleer, Donruss, Upper Deck, and Score to my player collections. This has added just one card for my Brooks Robinson set, his 1963 Fleer #4.

That is one of four cards that are missing from my collection. The others are his rookie card, 1957 Topps #328, and cards #600 and #531 from 1967 Topps. His rookie card is out of my price range and the two from 1967 have been hard to find. The Fleer card is a new target for me, so I do not know much about it yet.

There are a total of 39 Brooks Robinson cards that fit my collecting criteria, 38 Topps and 1 Fleer. I have 35 of them. My favorite among them is 1973 #90. It appears that the picture was snapped right after a pitch, as he is in the process of standing up after being set for the pitch.

My next favorite is 1976 #95. Surprisingly, it is the only other base card that has him with his glove on. (For non-base, also see his 1971 #331 World Series highlight card.) I also like the Oriole hat with the white front panel and orange brim.

My least favorite is 1958 Topps #307. Don’t get me wrong, I still think it’s an awesome card. I just don’t like the face he’s making.

So here is my Brooks Robinson collection. I’m hoping to get at least one of the missing ones this year. Maybe I’ll use the next stimulus check on that 1957 rookie card.

Author: Dave

Hi! My name is Dave. I graduated with a Master of Science in Data Science in May 2020. I enjoy playing baseball, watching baseball, writing about baseball, and thinking about baseball. My favorite place to be is the ballpark, any ballpark. I will watch every level of baseball.

9 thoughts on “Player Collection Spotlight – Brooks Robinson”

    1. You are a bad influence. I think I’ll hold off on the Leaf card for now. I’ve added Fleer, Donruss, Score, and Upper Deck to my player collections, and I’ve decided to collect Nolan Ryan. That’s close to 300 more cards that I’m hunting for. On top of that, I still have over 300 team portrait cards in my sights. Once I start getting close, I’ll probably expand again.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. His expression on that 1958 card picture may have been one of suffering. It appears he was wearing a rubber shirt under his jersey probably in order to rapidly lose weight back in the time when players had to work during the off season and couldn’t keep in the best of shape. I think many of us would have a similar expression if we were wearing such a shirt under the hot Florida sun.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Brooks Robinson is at the center of one of my collecting regrets. In the late 90s I passed by the card shop that I frequented in Tallahassee and saw a line of maybe 25 people (that was a lot of people for that store). I didn’t bother to stop (there was a line). A few days later I stopped in and asked why there was a line. He told me that Brooks was signing autographs (and as I recall they certainly weren’t expensive). Had I known that I wouldn’t have minded the line.

    Not that I have Brooks Robinson rookies (or the 1967 Topps, which looks to be a high number) sitting around, but for the players you are collecting do you have a list of the cards that you are looking for ?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My wife got me a Brooks Robinson signed baseball for Christmas this year. If I do have a chance, I would gladly stand in line to have him sign a card. The only autographs I stood in line for were Pudge Rodriguez (catcher’s mitt in Spring Training) and Jim Gantner (prospects card at a card shop). I don’t (or didn’t) seek out autographs, but now I want one for each of my player collections. I just need Ozzie Smith, Gary Carter, and Nolan Ryan.

      As far as lists, yes, I have them all in a spreadsheet. The big ones I need are Nolan Ryan (over 100 needed), Ozzie Smith (over 60), and Pudge Rodriguez (over 60).


  3. I met Brooks at an IBM User Conference in 1999. A super nice person. When he found out that I was from Boston he told me that he was on field when Ted Williams hit a home run in his final at bat.

    Liked by 1 person

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