Flashback Friday: Let Them Eat Watermelon! Brooksie Reaches 2,500 Hits

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Brooks Robertson Card

June 27, 2014

Earlier this week, Adrian Beltre became the sixth major leaguer to reach 2,500 hits among those who have played the majority of their careers at third base. This week’s Flashback Friday looks at the Orioles’ representative on that esteemed list, Brooks Robinson.

Brooksie joined the 2,500 hit club on Aug. 20, 1973. Fittingly, the hit came as part of a ninth inning rally, albeit nearly six years before “Orioles Magic” was born on a Doug DeCinces homer. 

Having failed on two attempts to lay down a sacrifice bunt, Robinson fouled off three straight offerings from the Twins’ Bill Hands before hitting a run-scoring single that knotted the game at three runs a piece. Three batters later, the Orioles won the game on a fielder’s choice. It was their eighth straight victory in what would become a 14-game win streak.

Robinson was the 49th overall player to reach 2,5000 hits. Manager Earl Weaver was unabashed in his praise for his third baseman afterward.

“Brooksie will be in the Hall of Fame five days after he hangs up his glove,” Weaver said. “He’s got to be the greatest third baseman ever to play baseball.”

Robinson and his teammates celebrated the accomplishment by eating a watermelon adorned with the number 2,500. 

“If I ever reach 3,000, I promise something better,” Robinson joked. “Champagne corks will pop.”

He gave himself “a very slim chance” of reaching the 3,000 hit mark.

“I have to play about three more years,” Robinson said. “It’s not impossible, but the last 100 hits were the hardest.”

Robinson played four more seasons, although he appeared in 71 games and 24 games, respectively, in the final two. He finished his career with 2,848 hits.

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