One of my favorite memories was talking with my late father about all of those players who played in Cuba, from Willie Mays to Tommy Lasorda to Brooks Robinson. We learned yesterday that Brooks Robinson passed away. He was 86 and one of the all time baseball greats. Back in the late 1950’s, Brooks Robinson played in the Cuba winter league. He was a young infielder for Cienfuegos.
At that time, enjoying success in the Cuban winter league was a stepping stone to earning a job in the majors. Brooks’ glove work caught the eye of many, including many Cubans who watched him play. Robinson also played with Mike Cuellar, the great Cuban lefthander who won 119 games in 6 seasons in Baltimore, including sharing the 1969 Cy Young Award with Denny McLain and pitching the complete game victory that won the 1970 World Series.
From 1959 to 1975, Brooks won 16 consecutive Gold Glove Award as the best third baseman in the American League. Brooks was a part-time player in 1976 and retired in 1977. Brooks Robinson was synonymous with third base! He was also a clutch hitter, i.e. 2,848 hits and 1,357 RBI. He was the AL MVP in 1964 and World Series MVP in 1970.
In 1983, Brooks Robinson went into The Hall of Fame.