For the last seven decades, every elite defensive third baseman has been compared to Brooks Robinson. He raised the bar to new heights, displaying exceptional range and pinpoint accuracy for more than 20 years. Robinson passed away on Tuesday at the age of 86, but his impact on the game of baseball will surely carry on.
One of the very stars who has created his own sterling legacy at the hot corner is doing his part to guarantee that the Hall of Famer and Baltimore Orioles legend remains an influential force in the present and future.
“Brooks Robinson is the gold standard at defense for a third baseman,” St. Louis Cardinals' Nolan Arenado told The Athletic's Katie Woo before the team's road game versus the Milwaukee Brewers. “My dad always shared with me as a kid how amazing he was. When I met him at the Gold Glove dinner he told me he was a fan and I couldn't believe that after the stories my dad told me.”
Nolan Arenado has picked up where Brooks Robinson left off
Arenado is undeniably the greatest defensive third baseman of his generation, much like the “The Human Vacuum Cleaner” was during his illustrious career. He has won a Gold Glove in the first 10 seasons of his career. Such an award, while always prestigious, is bound to feel different after earning so many. But Arenado vividly remembers the one that Robinson, his fan, presented to him.
“It was a surreal moment being around him and for him to say that to me,” the eight-time All-Star said. “He announced my name and gave me the trophy. it was an honor to receive that from him and shake the hand of a legend. RIP to Brooks. I'm praying for his family during this time.”
Practically no ball was out of Robinson's range. He gave maximum effort for the Orioles, the team he spent his entire 23-year career with, and was thusly recognized annually by the MLB.
Brooks Robinson won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves, in addition to the 1964 American League MVP crown and 18 All-Star Game appearances he also earned. He clearly appreciated the dedication Nolan Arenado has to his craft, evidenced by the special moment that the Cardinals superstar recounted above.
Robinson should leave this world satisfied with the path he paved for Arenado and other future captains of the hot corner. Hopefully, the comparisons never stop.