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Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson Hardcover – March 4, 2014
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For a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer, Brooks Robinson never flashed the gaudy numbers of his hall brethren; for example, his lifetime batting average was a mere .267, and he hit little more than 10 home runs a year. He was, however, only the best defensive third-baseman to play the game, the leader of a Baltimore team famed for its consistently high level of play (“the Oriole way”), a players’ rep who led his union into an era of long-overdue empowerment, and a huge fan favorite. Which is why the appearance of almost any biography to keep the famously modest Robinson in the spotlight is welcome—even Wilson’s, written without Robinson’s participation and using a lot of recycled material. Yet, to its credit, it reminds fans, again, that Brooks Robinson is a class act, every which way. --Alan Moores
“I've known Brooks for more than 40 years and this is the most thorough and detailed biography of him I've ever read. And I've read them all.” ―Roy Firestone, seven-time Emmy-winning broadcaster and original host of ESPN's Up Close
“An unabashedly affectionate life of and tribute to a man who deserves every good word that ever has been said or written about him.” ―The Washington Post
“Those who have read Wilson's previous books, Fred Hutchinson and the 1964 Cincinnati Reds and The Bird: The Life and Legacy of Mark Fidrych know that wrapped about each diamond is a history lesson… Wilson can weave together interesting tidbits that belong in any social studies class and can make us think "Wow," whether or not we follow sports.” ―The Republic
“In the end, this is a nice tribute to a bygone era of baseball and one of its classiest representatives.” ―Publishers Weekly
“It reminds fans, again, that Brooks Robinson is a class act, every which way.” ―Booklist
“It's great to read a baseball book that's pure baseball.” ―Steve Keane, WBAR New York, Keane on Sports
“Doug Wilson's biography Brooks: The Biography of Brooks Robinson reviews Robinson's career from the modest contracts of the ‘60s to the advent of free agency and the transformation of baseball by big money.” ―The Daily Beast
“Brooks [is] a worthwhile portrait of legendary Baltimore Orioles third basemen…There are good stories here about how the team came together and meshed nicely… As [Brooks] shows, Brooks Robinson was the perfect man for the position by almost any standard.” ―Buffalo News
“Brooks is a warm, sentimental biography…Wilson's prose is always upbeat and positive and he gets the job done.” ―The Tampa Tribune
“The book…details the life of the man many consider the greatest third baseman who ever played the game…A good read. The readers not only gets to learn about Robinson, but also what the Orioles were like during his time there as a player.” ―Frederick News-Post
“Brooks is what a baseball biography should be about. This is now Wilson's third such venture, having previously written excellent books on Fred Hutchinson and Mark "The Bird" Fidrych. Like those, Brooks is well-researched, and Wilson is a first-rate writer worthy of his subject…Brooks Robinson is the real deal, and so is Doug Wilson's book.” ―Spitball Magazine
“Solid, understated prose allows both the happy and sadder moments to shine through on their merits. He [Wilson] has a fine ear for anecdotes--which he has collected from friends and family, teammates and secondary sources--and he never strangles the subject with too much inside baseball...The Bird is a well-written, definitive book about a good guy with a great story.” ―The Wall Street Journal on The Bird
“There had never been a biography written about The Bird. Leave it to an eye specialist to bring Fidrych's life and career into proper focus…Wilson helps the reader see how much joy Fidrych had -- and gave to baseball fans.” ―Tampa Tribune on The Bird
“It's a Cinderella story: Out of nowhere, a flaky, infectiously enthusiastic pitcher captures the nation's attention, a happy reminder that baseball is fun and a business…The "Bird" he captures is a reminder that there's still joy in the game, in playing and sharing the experience.” ―Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on The Bird
“Anyone who remembers the magical summer when the Bird spun gold every time he took the mound will love reliving the stories here…This is a fun book about a regular guy who never changed, even after exploding into a national sensation. The next time the business side of the modern game gets you down, "The Bird" should prove the perfect antidote.” ―BaseballAmerica.com on The Bird
“Wilson makes plain by means of a skillful weaving of distant accounts and contemporaneous stories, many raising a tear, that Mark Fidrych deserved his celebrity and our admiration. Highly recommended…and explanation of the mania that last engulfed the National Pastime in a worthwhile way.” ―Library Journal (starred review) on The Bird
“For a short time in the 1970s, the country was in thrall to Mark Fidrych, who came to be known as ‘The Bird' for his resemblance to Big Bird. Fidrych emerged seemingly from nowhere in the summer of 1976 and became an unlikely but legitimate phenomenon. Wilson tells the Bird's story in this biography of the Massachusetts native whose antics included tending to his own pitching mound during games and allegedly talking to the baseball. Wilson also dispels a few myths along the way, namely disputing the demotion of Fidrych to a ‘flake,' despite his antics. He also paints Fidrych as a product of his time and argues that only in the 1970s could someone like Fidrych become such an icon. The beloved pitcher's every move drew national attention, and his appearances sold out stadiums, whether for away games or for the home games of some lousy Tigers teams. Unfortunately, knee and throwing-shoulder injuries curtailed the career of the Bird….Fidrych transfixed the country, albeit too briefly. This book serves as a reminder of why.” ―Kirkus Review on The Bird
“Wilson interviewed many former teammates, managers, friends, and family members in the course of researching this biography of the ballplayer and the man…A compassionate, engaging biography of a player whose star shone brightly, if briefly.” ―Booklist on The Bird
“In chronicling the sudden rise and fall of Fidrych, Wilson takes us into the Tigers organization and the Major Leagues to show how an obscure baseball player could capture the hearts of fans nationwide.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Bird
“Mark Fidrych's sudden emergence in the spring of 1976 was a gift from the baseball gods; his equally sudden fall from glory was one of the game's more puzzling disappointments. With THE BIRD, Doug Wilson clears away the myths and misconceptions surrounding Fidrych and his brief but magical career, leaving us with an inspiring portrait of a unique individual who truly played the game (and lived his life) for the pure joy of it.” ―Dan Epstein, author of Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swingin' '70s on The Bird
“Mark Fidrych's magical single-season flight into baseball history exploded into rock star legend. In The Bird, Doug Wilson captures the essence of this unlikely icon with extensive insight from family, friends, fans, teammates, opposing players, managers and media. This portrait of a once in a lifetime phenomenon is a must read for all baseball romantics.” ―Dan Ewald, author, baseball writer and former Tigers executive on The Bird
Top customer reviews
Robinson's major league career spanned the years from intermittently in1955 through 1977 and those years were filled with memorable years of All-Star games, gold glove awards, and World Series performances in 1966 and 1969 through 1971 with World Championships in '66 and '70. His performance in the field against the Reds in 1970 made him a highlight reel. Author Wilson does a commendable job in relating Robinson's acrobatic fielding plays against Cincinnati in 1970, but the plays really had to be seen to be appreciated.
What really makes Brooks Robinson special is that he always had time for others. He would sign his autograph legibly rather than a quick unreadable scribble and engaged in conversation with those he was signing for. You will find no scandal associated with Brooks Robinson in this book. This is a book you can give as a gift to a child who enjoys baseball and reading since you will not find it laced with profanities. In other words this is a book for all ages to enjoy. Brooks Robinson is a genuine baseball hero and a credit to the game and the Baltimore Orioles for whom he played his entire career. It was fitting that he entered the Hall of Fame the same year as his major league mentor George Kell both of whom are natives of Arkansas. Many thanks to author Doug Wilson for giving us this biography of Brooks Robinson to relive his career and for those who were to young to see him perform his wizardry on the diamond.
I live in Maryland and have had the fortune to watch the amazing Brooks play several times.
I also had the opportunity to meet Brooks and Boog at Boog's BBQ in OC MD with my grandson at a free photograph session.
Both men spent time talking to my grandson and everyone else that was there that day.
What a class act! In person Brooks is exactly as described by so many in this book.
He makes you feel like you are the star of the show.