by Roy Firestone

When I was a very young kid and, like now, a huge Orioles fan, I always looked to Brooks Robinson as my hero.
He was the nicest ballplayer I ever met as a kid, and then one day, when I talked my way into the Orioles clubhouse during spring training.
I became a bat-boy for the Orioles.
I was a lousy bat-boy.
I didn’t know anything about equipment of uniforms. I only wanted to get to know Brooks Robinson.
I was 15 years old.
My first day of work in the clubhouse Brooks Robinson walked in and asked this kid(me) if it would be ok for him to play “pepper” with me.
You couldve knocked me off my feet with a feather.
I was on the field at Miami Stadium taking ground balls from my hero.
The years passed and Brooks on I remained good friends(everybody is a friend to Brooks).
Then in 2012, I was sitting at home one night and the phone rang.
It was Brooks.
“Partner…(he always called me Partner)…I have a favor to ask.
“Oriole Park at Camden Yards is unveiling my statue..and I’d like YOU to introduce ME to get my statue”.
Again…You could’ve knocked me off my feet with a feather.
You can see my love and appreciation for Brooks in the video below.
Suffice it to say, it was the greatest and most emotional privilidge I ever experienced.
I tell you this story because Brooks Calvert Robinson is 80 years old today.
Im so glad Brooks is in our world.
For a while there we were all concerned with his health…but he’s doing much better now.
In all my years in sports, both professionally and privately, I’ve never met a finer man. I can say without hesitation that meeting Brooks as a 15 year old inspired me to interview athletes..and no one represented the game…and humanity better.
Happy Birthday my friend.