Brooks Calbert Robinson, Jr. was born May 18, 1937 in Little Rock, Arkansas. His father, Brooks Robinson, Sr., was a semi-pro second baseman who played with his son in his younger years. Brooks, Jr. went on to play third base for the Baltimore Orioles from 1955 to 1977. Nicknamed “the Human Vacuum Cleaner,” he is considered by many to have been the greatest defensive third baseman in major league history.
Robinson was an 18-time All-Star and also won sixteen Gold Glove Awards. He won two World Series with the Orioles, being named World Series MVP in 1970. Robinson also earned American League MVP honors in 1964 when he led the AL in RBIs for the season. In 1972, he was presented with the Roberto Clemente Award, and he was inducted into the Baltimore Orioles Hall of Fame in 1977, with his number 5 being retired a year later.
Brooks Robinson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983 with 91.98% of the vote in his first appearance on the ballot.
He passed away yesterday, September 26, 2023 at the age of 86. Rest in peace.
The All-Star break has officially begun, and I am amazed that we are already halfway through the season. The 2023 All-Star Game is set to take place at T-Mobile Park (formerly known as Safeco Field) in Seattle.
At this point, the HBCU Swingman Classic, the All-Star Futures Game, and the All-Star Celebrity Softball Game have already taken place. The schedule for the rest of the break is as follows:
Monday, July 10: MLB Home Run Derby at 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Tuesday, July 11: MLB All-Star Red Carpet Show at 2 p.m. ET (MLB Network)
Tuesday, July 11: MLB All-Star Game at 8 p.m. ET (FOX)
In All-Star Games the players are chosen by balloting. Millions of fans vote. It is Democracy at its most transcendent. All the voters get out of it is the loss of a three-cent stamp or a two-cent postal card. Dishonesty in counting the votes has never been charged.
Pitcher Edwin Jackson was born on September 9, 1983 in Neu Ulm, Germany while his father, Edwin Jackson Sr., was serving in the United States Army there. He has the distinction of having played for more major league teams than any other player in Major League Baseball history. Over the course of a career that spanned sixteen years, Jackson played for fourteen MLB teams:
Los Angeles Dodgers (2003–2005)
Tampa Bay Devil Rays / Rays (2006–2008)
Detroit Tigers (2009, 2019)
Arizona Diamondbacks (2010)
Chicago White Sox (2010–2011)
St. Louis Cardinals (2011)
Washington Nationals (2012, 2017)
Chicago Cubs (2013–2015)
Atlanta Braves (2015)
Miami Marlins (2016)
San Diego Padres (2016)
Baltimore Orioles (2017)
Oakland Athletics (2018)
Toronto Blue Jays (2019)
Jackson was named to the American League All-Star team in 2009. On June 25, 2010, as a Diamondback, he threw a no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays. Jackson was also a member of the 2011 World Series champion Cardinals, though he lost the only game he appeared in. Jackson’s last MLB appearance took place on September 28, 2019 with the Detroit Tigers.
In 2021, Jackson was named to the roster of the United States national baseball team, which qualified for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The team went on to win silver, falling to Japan in the gold-medal game.
On September 10, 2022, Edwin Jackson announced his retirement from baseball.
Maurice Morning Wills was born October 2, 1932 in Washington, D.C. He began playing semi-professional baseball at the age of 14 and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, upon graduating from high school. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers, now in Los Angeles, in 1959 and spent most of his career with L.A. He was a member of the Dodgers team that won the World Series in 1959, 1963, and 1965.
Wills was named the National League MVP in 1962, stealing a record 104 bases to break the previous modern era mark of 96 set by Ty Cobb. He was named to seven All-Star teams and was the first MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1962. Wills also won Gold Gloves at shortstop in 1961 and 1962. Over the course of his fourteen-year career, Wills batted .281 with 20 home runs, 458 runs batted in, 2,134 hits, 1,067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples, 586 stolen bases, and 552 bases on balls in 1,942 games.
Wills was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, serving as a representative of the Dodgers Legend Bureau, from 2009 until his death. Maury Wills died on September 19, 2022, at the age of 89.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened by the passing of Dodger legend Maury Wills. Our thoughts are with Wills’ family, teammates and friends. pic.twitter.com/zCtmuSUB0o
Spec Shea became the first rookie pitcher to win an All-Star Game on July 8, 1947, when the American League defeated the National League, 2-1. In the game, Shea pitched the 4th, 5th, and 6th innings in relief for Hal Newhouser. The New York Yankees hurler allowed one earned run and was declared the winning pitcher.
Mike Schmidt played 18 seasons for the Philadelphia Phillies, and in that time, Schmidt was a 12-time All-Star and a three-time National League MVP. Over the course of his career, Schmidt hit 548 home runs, including 40 or more home runs in three separate seasons and 30 or more home runs in ten other seasons. He also won ten Gold Glove Awards and was named The Sporting News Player of the Decade for the 1980s.
Mike Schmidt was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1995. In his induction speech below, I particularly like Schmidt’s discussions on positive encouragement for kids and on the need for baseball to reconnect with its fans.
I was told I would never make it because I’m too short. Well, I’m still too short, but I’ve got 10 All-Star games, two World Series championships, and I’m a very happy and contented guy. It doesn’t matter what your height is, it’s what’s in your heart.
Vida Blue was a left-handed pitcher who is primarily known as a vital member of the Oakland Athletics dynasty that won three consecutive World Series championships from 1972 to 1974. Blue won the American League Cy Young Award and Most Valuable Player Award in 1971, and he was the first pitcher ever to start the All-Star Game for both the American League (1971) and the National League (1978).
This tribute by Albert Jones was released in 1971.