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Brooks Robinson’s return to Camden Yards coincides with passion for this year’s Orioles – The Denver Post

The theme has meandered through the years, from his time at 18 in Major League Baseball to playing in Cuba in 1957 and then at the Orioles clubhouse on Saturday at age 85. Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson’s words all boiled down to the same idea, no matter how many twists and turns it took to get there: He loves baseball.

Even more, he loves baseball in Baltimore, the city he has lived in full-time since 1960. As he watches the Orioles reach levels they haven’t reached since the last reconstruction began in 2018, this love swells.

That’s the heart of the message he delivered Saturday before the game to the current Orioles, invited into the clubhouse to share his wisdom from a lifetime of baseball — with more than a few stories intertwined.

On this off-season spent playing in Cuba: “I had a good time. It was a nice place. [Fidel] Castro was in the mountains. In fact, several bombs exploded around the stadium. I took my car and was happy to go home.

On his first game as an 18-year-old Oriole: “I went 2-for-4, hit a few big runs. I went back to the Southern Hotel and called my mom and dad and said, ‘Mom, Dad, guess what? First game, 2 on 4 and hit in a big run. Dude, that’s my cup of tea. Then I went 0 for 18 and struck out 10 times to end the season.

And then, most pressing of all, he told the assembled clubhouse what it was like to watch this current iteration of the Orioles: “You absolutely thrilled me. I watch every game and you thrill the people of Baltimore. They’ve been waiting for this for a while, and it’s really something.

It’s really something for one of the most heralded Orioles in history to see what this group accomplishes, entering Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates with four games over .500 and 1.5 matches behind the joker.

The Orioles invited former players to Camden Yards on Saturday for an on-field celebration of the park’s 30th anniversary. There were Robinson and Eddie Murray, Hall of Fame pitcher Mike Mussina and right-hander Rick Sutcliffe, among others. While invited, a scheduling conflict prevented Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. from attending.

Robinson, attending a game at Camden Yards for the first time since 2019, knows a thing or two about exciting baseball. He won the World Series twice with the Orioles, and with fellow Hall of Famer Murray by his side, Robinson marveled at the organization’s present and future.

“I think people are really excited when the club is playing the way they are playing right now,” Robinson said. “They are really up for it. It excites me.”

In 1979, shortly after Murray became a fixture at first base for the Orioles, a 102-win season culminated in a World Series loss to the Pirates. It started what became known as the Orioles Magic, starting with a team that wasn’t meant to excel in this way to reach great heights.

While there was a hint of such fortune lifting Baltimore to an unexpected playoff spot this season, Murray stopped short of saying it was the same. It’s an exciting product, but there’s more to prove.

“They have guys here that you have seen taking action. They are definitely improving,” Murray said. “And that’s what it takes is to improve and let your teammates know about it. They can see you working and doing your job – that’s what works.

It looks like it worked out in Baltimore this year, and Robinson echoed what Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias said after the trade deadline: “I think it’s time to take off. “, Robinson said, “and I believe it.”

Robinson opened up about his adventures playing winter baseball in Colombia and Cuba and his struggles against Nolan Ryan. He talked about his journey as a kid from Little Rock, Arkansas, to the big leagues in Baltimore.

But he was most expressive when his devious response brought him back to the joy of watching the 2022 Orioles and all that means for Baltimore.

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