DescriptionLate 1970's Sixteen Gold Gloves Career Award with 1974 Game Used Glove from The Brooks Robinson Collection. Perhaps no player in baseball history is as celebrated for the defensive half of his Major League play as the man to whom this symbol of excellence and achievement was awarded. Between 1960 and 1975, Robinson constructed an unbroken chain of Gold Glove dominance at the third base position, blending consistency that earned him top ranking in fielding percentage eleven times with impossible acrobatics that could fill a feature-length film with highlight-reel plays.
Of the truckload of trophies delivered to Robinson by award sponsor Rawlings, this might be our favorite of all, the only example that utilizes actual game used leather from the Human Vacuum Cleaner. Rather than the standard gold-painted unused glove found on every other model, this version opts for Robinson's heavily-worn gamer from the 1974 season, his penultimate Gold Glove campaign.
The relic is everything one could crave from a game used glove, molded to the form of its master's hand from hundreds of hours of service and toned from sweat and infield dirt. Fading black marker reports "#5" and "Brooks." The "Rawlings" manufacturer's label is heavily worn but legible.
It is held on the wall-mount plaque with a metal stand underscored by an engraved plaque that reports, "Worn by Brooks Robinson During the 1974 Season." The rest of the display supplies a list all seasons of Robinson's dominance, golden baseballs, an image of Robinson at work and another engraved plaque that states, "Presented to Brooks Robinson, Commemorating the Winning of The Rawlings Gold Glove Award for 16 Consecutive Seasons, 1960-1975." Dimensions of display: 18x24". Letter of provenance from Brooks Robinson.
The Brooks Robinson Collection, Gold Gloves Introduction
"I could field as long as I can remember," Robinson once said. "But hitting has been a struggle all my life."
The statement tells us two very important things about the Hall of Fame third baseman. The fact that he recorded nearly 3,000 hits during his career, and that he led all American Leaguers in RBI's during his 1964 MVP season, stands as a testament to his famous modesty. He currently ranks number forty-six in career Major League hits, belying any suggestion he lacked offensive potency. And yet the fact that even Robinson defines himself primarily as a defensive specialist conveys just how universal that sentiment has become.
While Brooks Robinson deserves far greater credit than even he assigns himself as a complete baseball player, the widespread fixation on his fielding is entirely understandable. We find the cause in the twenty lots that follow, each issued to Robinson as the most decorated position player in Gold Glove history.
Any baseball historian worth his salt can tell you the tally: sixteen consecutive Gold Gloves, an unbroken chain of dominance from 1960 through 1975. As noted in the catalog introduction, the originals have long since been passed along to family and friends, a show of generosity that so touched the management at Rawlings that they supplied Robinson with a personal set, the full run of sixteen, for his own collection. All were presented to Robinson at his Baltimore Memorial Stadium farewell ceremony on September 18, 1977. That personal set is represented by the sixteen lots immediately following this text.
Four more Gold Gloves are "career awards" of one manner or the other, bringing the full tally to twenty. One makes use of the sole game used fielder's glove available in The Brooks Robinson Collection. Another codifies his membership in the most elite brotherhood in the defensive game, "The Gold Glove Hall of Fame."
All twenty of these imposing and important symbols of achievement continue to operate as a definition of the man in ways both accurate and incomplete. Yes, Brooks Robinson was unquestionably the greatest third baseman in Major League history, if not the greatest infielder, bar none.
But he was, and is, so much more than that, both as an athlete, and as the living embodiment of the American sportsman-the determination of Gehrig, the altruism of Clemente, the humility that is his alone.
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