#TBT Sports Blog: College Football’s Two Death Valleys

Clemson's Death ValleyToday’s #TBT Sports Blog tells the history of Death Valley – both of them.

One of college football’s most daunting places for visiting teams to play, Death Valley rests peacefully in one of my favorite sports comic books –  Deadly Sports Stuff.  Check out the excerpt below.

Deadly Sports Stuff

Two prominent universities lay claim to the mortal title. And both schools routinely spar over who owns the genuine birthright to their individual stadium’s deathly name.

Clemson University’s Death Valley

Aptly named Death Valley, the first is Clemson University’s football stadium. It’s ironically situated between a cemetery on a hill and a plain with a valley beyond.

Clemson claims its stadium is the genuine Death Valley of college football because it can clearly identify the genesis of its deadly sounding name.

In 1948, former Presbyterian College coach Lonnie McMillian bemoaned the fact that his teams rarely scored and never won when playing in Clemson’s Death Valley.

McMillian’s comments hold true for most other NCAA FBS teams as well. Clemson’s Death Valley boasts a remarkable home field advantage.

It’s here that the Clemson Tigers have won an impressive 71% of their home games. It’s also where their boisterous 81,500 seat stadium reaches a deafening decibel level of 133db.

Death Valley is famous for Howard’s Rock. Named after legendary Clemson coach Frank Howard, this actual rock originated from Death Valley Park in California. It serves as a landmark in the stadium.

Since 1967, Clemson players and coaches have traditionally touched the rock before each game amid fireworks and a raucous crowd.

Opposing teams have often become intimidated while witnessing this amazing spectacle, acknowledged as one of the richest in college sports. The lore and legend of Death Valley causes these would-be rivals to succumb to the Tigers on their notoriously scary home field.

LSU’s Death Valley

About 1,000 miles southwest of Clemson, SC stands the football home of the LSU Tigers. Coincidentally, Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, LA is also known as Death Valley.

However, the birth of LSU’s Death Valley stadium remains a mystery to most fans. There exists no clear cut agreement on when and where LSU’s Death Valley moniker was originally coined.

Some fans attribute LSU’s Death Valley name to the local Baton Rouge dialect’s pronunciation of Deaf Valley, which, ironically, is a gas station situated next to the actual football stadium where LSU played.

Fans near the gas station not only remember that it was impossible to hear when games were played in the monstrous stadium located next to the Deaf Valley gas station, but they also recall few visiting teams ever won at LSU.

When Louisianans described this experience to others outside the state, they sounded as if they said Death Valley instead of Deaf Valley.

Their unique dialect transformed the “f” into a “th” sound as they did when saying breath as “breaf”.

Tiger Stadium, or LSU’s Death Valley, is just as tough a place to play as Memorial Stadium in Clemson, SC.

LSU’s 95,542 seat stadium was named the scariest place to play in college football by ESPN in 2007, and the NCAA called it the loudest in FBS stadium in 2013.

Whether you believe LSU’s theory about the origination of its Death Valley or hold true to the media facts supported by Clemson’s claim, let’s agree on this one unwavering detail.

Both college stadiums are not only incredibly loud.

But, based on both schools’ impressive home winning records, they’re also metaphoric graveyards for opposing teams who reluctantly come to visit either Death Valley.

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#TBT Sports Blog: Mr. October Reggie Jackson

Mr. October Reggie JacksonIt’s only fitting that Major League Baseball’s Mr. October Reggie Jackson leads off today’s #TBT sports blog.

This Baseball Hall of Fame slugger wore the colorful uniform of the Oakland A’s and the traditional pinstripes of the New York Yankees. He normally starred during the spring and summer months of the Major League Baseball season.

However, Reggie Jackson flourished on the baseball field during the fall.

That’s when he earned his nickname Mr. October.

Late Yankee Thurmon Munson Coined the Name Mr. October

Yankee teammate Thurmon Munson first used the title when questioned during the 1977 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Munson told a reporter to interview Jackson. He referred to the Yankee right fielder’s history of fantastic post-season games and said, “Go ask Mr. October.”

A 1999 Cooperstown Hall of Fame inductee, Reginald Martinez Jackson enjoyed a stellar 21-year Major League Baseball career. He retired in 1987. Jackson was a 14-time All-Star who hit 563 dingers, drove in 1,702 runs and batted .262 with 2,584 total hits.

The 1973 American League MVP also had his number 9 jersey retired in Oakland and his number 44 jersey retired in New York. Pretty great accomplishments, indeed!

Reggie Jackson: World Series MVP for Two Different Teams

A clutch hitting right fielder, Jackson had the ability to perform his best during post-season play. Mr. October ranks as the only baseball player ever to be named World Series Most Valuable Player for two different teams. Jackson first won the award in 1973 with the Oakland A’s. He won it again in 1977 in spectacular fashion with the New York Yankees.

Jackson’s World Series numbers are incredible. In 27 Fall Classic appearances, Mr. October belted 10 home runs, drove in 24 runs and batted an impressive .357. He won five world titles. In the deciding Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, Jackson hit three consecutive first pitch home runs off of three different Dodger hurlers.

Baseball fans will never forget this amazing Oakland A’s and New York Yankees’ right fielder and his Fall Classic heroics.

In a Boys of Summer sport, this Baseball Hall of Fame player rightfully earned his fitting autumn nickname – Mr. October.

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#TBT Sports Blog: Boston Sports Icon “Big Papi” David Ortiz

MIKE Comic Big PapiStepping up to the plate in the #8 spot in my FREE sports comic book Boston Sports Icons is Boston Red Sox “Big Papi” David Ortiz.

“Big Papi” is also the feature of today’s #TBT sports blog.

The nickname “Papi” translates in multiple ways within the Hispanic community. Several recognized G-rated definitions are: father, daddy, attractive man, affectionate pet name for a young boy, leading member of a gang and alpha male.

In Major League Baseball circles however, there exists only one instantly recognizable reference to “Papi.” The endearing name belongs to Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

Respectfully known as Big Papi, this extra-large Dominican embodies many of the positive and multi-faceted attributes of the “Papi” nickname. With a 6’5” and generous 275 lb. frame, Ortiz originally earned the “Papi” moniker for leading his “gang” of baseball teammates to three World Series championships in 2004, 2007 and 2013.

David Ortiz: 9-time MLB All-Star

The handsome nine-time Major League Baseball All-Star is more than just a “father figure” in the clubhouse, as the “papi” name suggests. Brash, confident and skilled as a hitter, David Ortiz is a highly successful “alpha male” on the playing field as his impressive hitting statistics have proven.

Ortiz’s career numbers at the plate are worthy of Hall of Fame consideration. Big Papi’s impressive career batting average enabled him to sign a whopping $13 million per year contract with the Red Sox. He also set a Red Sox team record by belting 54 home runs during the 2006 season.

Ortiz is also widely regarded as the most highly specialized performer in a highly specialized position. The Sporting News and Sports Illustrated both named him Designated Hitter of the Decade.

A seven time winner of the Edgar Martinez Award as the American League’s top DH, Ortiz remains the all-time leader among designated hitters in hits, home runs and runs batted in.

Big Papi has been so proficient at the plate in a Boston uniform that Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski surprisingly referred to #34 as the second best hitter in franchise history behind Ted Williams.

Ortiz’s imposing physique and colorful personality combine to make him a Boston Sports Nation favorite. Kids mimic his well-known histrionics in the batter’s box. They also wear Big Papi inspired sunglasses and batting gloves. And, rabid adult fans replicate Ortiz’s pointing to heaven while crossing home plate after belting a home run. The heavenward gesture originated as a tribute to Big Papi’s late mother who died tragically in a 2002 car wreck.

Big Papi’s watershed moment in which he emerged as a true Boston Sports Icon arrived when he addressed a hurting Fenway crowd in April, 2013. It occurred shortly after the insidious and shocking Boston marathon bombings.

Despite Big Papi’s profanity punctuated pre-game speech, he encouraged a confused and reeling Boston community. Moreover, his powerful speech cemented the likeable large Ortiz’s lore in Bean Town sports history as a Boston sports hero who unquestionably embodies the city’s Boston Strong spirit.

That’s why the alpha male Big Papi boisterously barrels into the #8 pick in Boston Sports Icons.

Boston Sports Stars and LandmarksClick on the purple cover above to safely download the FREE sports comic book Boston Sports Icons. Enjoy the read. Feel free to share it with others.

MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski

MIKE Comic YazToday’s #TBT sports blog looks back on Carl Yastrzemski – one of the top 10 Major League Baseball players ever.

He was simply known as Yaz.

He’s also #7 in my FREE sports comic book Boston Sports Icons.

Yaz proved the best way to follow an icon on the same team while playing the same position is to become a Major League Baseball Hall of Fame legend, too.

That’s exactly what Carl Yastrzemski accomplished in 1961.

As a 20 year-old rookie left fielder for the Boston Red Sox, Yaz replaced the brilliant “Splendid Splinter” Ted Williams.

Yaz’s strong work ethic, marvelous athleticism and unparalleled commitment to the game equipped him to escape the looming shadow of the beloved Williams’ incredible career. He, too, would become one of Major League Baseball’s best players ever.

After 23 years in the same Red Sox organization, Boston’s iconic #8 etched the following impressive numbers in Major League Baseball history books upon retirement.

Yaz finished 1st in total games played with one team, 2nd in total games played in MLB history, 3rd in total at bats, 6th in bases on balls, 8th in hits, total bases and doubles and 13th in career RBI’s.

Yaz Voted into Cooperstown on First Ballot

It’s no wonder he became a first ballot Cooperstown inductee.

Carl Yastzremski was the son of Polish potato farmers living in Long Island, NY. Yaz never forgot the promise he made to his parents to graduate from college. Few fans know that Yaz originally attended the University of Notre Dame, playing for the Irish on a basketball scholarship. Additionally, he had once broken NFL Hall of Fame RB Jim Brown’s Long Island high school basketball scoring record.

However, like Jim Brown, Carl Yastrzemski chose another sport in which to excel. Yaz left college in order to join the Boston Red Sox franchise as a second baseman. The club quickly changed his position from infielder to outfielder, but fortunately failed to convince Yaz to change his unusual swing.

As soon as he got his start in the big leagues in 1961, Yastrzemski became known for his unorthodox batting stance. The young left-handed hitter held his bat high over his head. This odd approach led to a dramatic arced swing in which fans almost expected to hear an audible swoosh.

Immediately, baseball players of all ages copied Yaz’s batting stance, but none experienced the same success as the young Boston Red Sox left fielder.

Yaz dominated pitchers at the plate. He compiled a .285 career average, belted 452 dingers, collected 3,419 hits in 3,308 games and hit for the elusive Triple Crown as the American League MVP in 1967.

Yastrzemski also excelled in the daunting environs of Fenway Park. He won seven Gold Gloves for being the best at his craft in spite of dealing with the dastardly 37’ wall, the intimidating and unpredictable Green Monster, in Boston’s left field.

An 18 time MLB All-Star, Yaz may be best remembered for more than his athletic excellence. He was an amazingly committed and loyal guy who did more than just play his entire 23-year career with one organization.

Carl Yastrzemski kept the promise he made to his parents after skipping out on his basketball scholarship at Notre Dame. Yaz made his family proud in 1966 when he graduated from Merrimac College in North Andover, Massachusetts.

With a big bat and a bigger heart, it’s easy to understand why this son of Polish potato farmers swings in at #7 in Boston Sports Icons.Boston Sports Stars and LandmarksClick on the purple cover above to safely download my FREE sports comic book titled Boston Sports Icons.

And, even while reading the book, you’ll almost hear the audible swoosh of Yaz’s swing!

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#TBT Sports Blog: MLB All-Time Hits Leader Pete Rose

MLB great Pete RoseToday’s #TBT sports blog spotlights one of my favorite MLB players ever.

Even during Spring Training, full throttle was the only way Pete Rose played the game of baseball.

During a meaningless pre-season game, New York Yankees’ skipper Whitey Ford gave Rose the Charlie Hustle nickname when the Cincinnati Red bolted to first base after drawing a base on balls.

Playing with a “pedal to the metal” attitude every time he took to the diamond, Pete Rose lived up to his Charlie Hustle nickname. He remains one of baseball’s most famous players, even though he agreed to be banned from the game in 1987 after betting on baseball.

Because of his epic on-field baseball successes, Rose would have been a certain first ballot Hall of Famer. Surprisingly, his first minor league manager didn’t think very highly of his talent.

According to Daven Hiskey, writing for www.todayifoundout.com, Pete Rose’s first manager in the minor leagues once told the Reds that, “Rose can’t make a double play, can’t throw, can’t hit left handed, and can’t run.” But, Charlie Hustle proved him wrong. He eventually became one of baseball’s all-time greats and was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Century Team.

Pete Rose NOT Ichiro Suzuki MLB Hits Leader

When he retired as a player in 1986, Charlie Hustle set numerous Major League Baseball records. In addition to being the game’s all-time leader with 4,256 hits, 3,562 games played and 14,053 at bats, Rose won more games than any other player in history – 1,972.

Though Miami Marlins’ Ichiro Suzuki surpassed Pete Rose’s overall baseball total by notching 4,257 hits, many baseball purists believe Rose is still the true Hit King. That’s because Ichiro collected 1,278 hits while playing professionally in Japan before joining the Seattle Mariners and New York Yankees.

Ironically, Rose created some controversy by commenting on Ichiro Suzuki breaking his record, “Next they’ll be counting high school hits.” Whoa, Charlie Hustle, them’s fightin’ words!

In 24 Major League Baseball seasons, Rose set records with 23 consecutive 100+ hit seasons and 10 straight seasons with 200 or more hits. Charlie Hustle ended his career as the most accomplished switch hitter ever, with 2,156 runs scored, 746 doubles, 5,752 total bases and 1,566 walks.

One of the best players in Major League Baseball history, Rose won three World Series titles with the Reds. He also won nearly every imaginable individual award: National League Rookie of the Year (1963), National League Most Valuable Player (1973), World Series MVP (1975), two Gold Gloves (1969 and 1970), three National League batting titles (1968, 1969 and 1973) and 17 all-star appearances.

Whether you think he deserves to be inducted into Cooperstown or not because of his well documented gambling history, let’s just agree on one thing. Pete Rose proved to the doubters who mocked him that he possessed a lot more than grit whenever he laced up his baseball cleats.

When given the chance, Charlie Hustle bolted out of the batter’s box and sprinted his way into baseball’s record book as Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader and one of the sport’s greatest players ever.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Team is Knocking at the Door

knocking at doorToday’s #TBT sports blog remembers an old sports cliché about a team “knocking at the door.”

For me, this old adage has always screamed for further interpretation.

It’s confusing, don’t you think?.

Not even the most knowledgeable fan can fully explain the meaning.

The sports expression about the team “knocking at the door” begs me to ask.

Just how close in a game do you need to be to knock at the door?

If you get a five run lead, can you still knock?

Are only baseball teams allowed to knock?

Also, can only offensive teams knock?

And, when a defender knocks back, does he answer the door or answer the bell?

Someone needs to take some initiative and clarify this old sports cliché because it continues to confuse the heck out of all of us.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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Labor Day: No Rest for Refs, Officials & Umpires

NFL instant replay

Labor Day is traditionally a national day of rest for American workers.

But, refs, umpires and hard working sports officials who oversee all the action on the playing field, basketball court, hockey ice, soccer pitch, etc. never seem to get the day off.

Today’s sports blog asks fans to take a moment and appreciate refs, officials and umpires.

That’s right. I am asking you to show some love for the guys wearing the stripes and squatting behind the plate.

After all, it is Labor Day today. We’re all probably resting while the guys and gals in stripes are probably working somewhere in the heat or rain and taking their share of non-stop, unmitigated abuse.

Fans Don’t Appreciate Refs

Sports fans usually don’t appreciate refs. And, that includes me!

Refs normally work every holiday. Not just Labor Day, but Christmas, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Flag Day, ML King Day, National Grandparents Day, Ground Hog Day and every other holiday. In doing so, they allow fans to enjoy their sports while lounging on the sofa in front of a big screen or relaxing at a bar with friends while devouring a basket of chicken wings.

Every sports fan sees refs, officials and umpires at every game in every sport at every level. The guys and gals with the whistles never actually play in a game, but they’re most deserving of our appreciation; otherwise, there wouldn’t be any games at all.

Their presence is absolutely essential. These invaluable people who preside over games, blow the whistles, make the calls, enforce the rules and enact all the penalties.

They work tirelessly both indoors and out, in both good weather and bad, and during all hours of the day.

Refs Get No Rest

They never get to rest, but remain on their feet or skates for the entire length of their respective assignments.

In the blink of an eye, these under-appreciated, but essential participants in every game make critical decisions that can be carefully reviewed and callously criticized countless times on national television – often with the benefit of super slow motion and high definition cameras.

indisputable video evidence

Acting as both judge and jury, they make crucial calls that can effect legacies, decide championships and even determine the future worth of player contracts. Yes, they’re the guys under the hood on NFL sidelines.

Plus, their hazardous professions go completely unnoticed by the average sports fan. When working behind the plate, these non-players take fastballs off their shins. Also, they occasionally get steamrolled on the football field by 300 lb. linemen.

Too often, they find themselves checked into the boards by overly aggressive defense men and struggle to keep up with gazelles on both the basketball court and soccer pitch.

Few ever know their names. They’re mocked, yelled at, glared upon, ridiculed and cursed.

Only referenced at sports events when their judgment is brought into question, these non-athletes never receive the credit they deserve.

Zebras, Blind Mice and Dastardly Devils

Yes, they’re the zebras, the blind mice and the dastardly devils that may – or may not – blow their whistles in your team’s favor.

These officials, umpires or refs, maintain order on the hardwood, the ice, the pitch, the gridiron and the baseball diamond.

Without them, there would be no games at all. Let’s all try appreciating refs, officials and umpires. Go on, sports fans, you can do it, too!

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: 1927 New York Yankees’ Murderers’ Row

1927 New York Yankees RowToday’s #TBT sports blog looks back at the 1927 New York Yankees championship team known as baseball’s Murderers’ Row.

Baseball historians have called the legendary 1927 Yankees the best Major League Baseball team ever.

Yet, back in the 1920s, fans, opposing players and the media that covered this New York Yankees team simply referred to the key members of this frightening, famed squad as Murderers’ Row.

With such a chilling nickname, it’s easy to see why I booked these so-called “murderers” in the #1 spot of my sports comic book Deadly Sports Stuff.

Click HERE to safely download the book for 99 cents from Amazon.

The first six batters in the New York Yankees’ line-up (no pun intended) in 1927 posted the most staggering statistics ever witnessed during a single Major League Baseball season.

Yankees’ Murderers’ Row Batters “Killed” Pitchers

The Murderers’ Row batters simply killed opposing pitchers. Their dizzying numbers included a remarkable .307 team batting average, a whopping .489 slugging percentage and an incredible 975 total runs scored. That’s 371 more runs than the teams they faced.

The Yankees easily ran away with the American League pennant that year by a 19 game margin with a 110 – 44 record. They also swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series.

As a team, the 1927 New York Yankees were written about in a 1962 book entitled Murderers’ Row and were featured in a 1966 film by the same name.

Plus, the team’s amazing 1927 performance included stellar individual seasons by American League Most Valuable Player Lou Gehrig who hit .373 and drove in an MLB record 175 runs.

That same year Babe Ruth posted similar MVP numbers. Ruth batted an impressive .356, batted in 164 runs, belted a league record 60 home runs and recorded the highest slugging percentage ever at .772.

League rules barred him from being included in the 1927 MVP voting because he had won the same award the previous year.

The Other 1927 New York Yankees “Murderers”

A list of other “murderers” in the 1927 New York Yankees line-up contributed mightily to the team’s overpowering success. These players also had eye-popping batting averages. Earle Combs batted .356, Mark Koenig .285, Tony Lazzeri .309 and Bob Muesel .337.

Along with their manager Miller Huggins and pitchers Herb Pennock and Waite Hoyt, Ruth, Gehrig, Combs and Lazzeri were all inducted into Cooperstown.

The 1927 New York Yankees’ Murderers’ Row continued their tormenting ways for a second season. It resulted in their sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1928 World Series.

In 1927, the death knell may have come quickly on the baseball diamond to those pitchers who faced them. However, this super team of New York Yankees lives on in baseball lore.

It’s arguably the best Major League Baseball team ever assembled and a terrific post for my weekly #TBT sports blog.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: HOF MLB Star “Hammerin’ Hank Aaron

Hammerin' Hank Aaron

Today’s #TBT sports blog remembers the hard hitting Atlanta Brave whom most fans call baseball’s true Home Run King.

Yes, with this Hammer in your toolbox, or in your starting Major League Baseball line-up, success was guaranteed.

When away from the baseball diamond, Henry Aaron carried himself quietly. But during games, this Hall of Famer nicknamed Hammerin’ Hank hauled a hammer of a bat whenever he entered the batter’s box.

Voted fifth best baseball player ever by The Sporting News, Aaron retired in 1976 as one of baseball’s greatest hitters of all time. The Hammer ended his career with 3,771 hits and a lifetime batting average of .308. In addition, this 1957 National League MVP and World Series Champ won two National League batting titles and three National League Gold Gloves. He also made 21 all-star appearances.

The Hammer pounded pitchers during his 23 seasons. Aaron still holds Major League Baseball records for total bases (6,856), RBIs (2,297), extra base hits (1,477) and consecutive seasons (17) with 150 hits or more.

Hank Aaaron: MLB’s True Home Run King

Many fans regard Aaron as baseball’s true Home Run King for the 755 homers he hit. His athletic feats were accomplished long before anyone knew about performance enhancing drugs.

The Hammer was also the victim of mean spirited, racially hateful verbal attacks. Aaron’s most memorable and courageous accomplishment may be the dignified manner he in which he handled himself after breaking Babe Ruth’s home run record in 1974 and 1975.

Legendary Los Angeles Dodgers baseball announcer Vin Scully wisely reported on The Hammer’s record breaking home run. “What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol. And it is a great moment for all of us, and particularly for Henry Aaron.”

It’s no surprise that Hammeron’ Hank Aaron is the #9 choice in my sports comic book MLB Favorites available for only 99 cents on Amazon.

MIKE MLB Favorites

One of the most amazing athletes of the past century, Hank Aaron will not only be remembered for his brilliant play during his 23-year career.

More importantly, The Hammer will be credited with helping to hammer out racism from America’s favorite pastime.

Shop for Thousands of Authentic Autographed MLB Collectibles at SportsMemorabilia.comFor Major League Baseball interested in authentic Baltimore Orioles or MLB collectibles, simply click on the Sports Memorabilia image above.

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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#TBT Sports Blog: Former Baltimore Orioles Brooks “Hoover” Robinson

Brooks Robinson or HooverToday’s #TBT sports blog features Brooks “Hoover” Robinson – a Hall of Fame athlete with a household appliance for a nickname.

Brooks Robinson played the hot corner for the Baltimore Orioles better than anyone else in baseball history.

Instead of an oven or a stove top grill, this third baseman was known as Hoover, short for the old American standard in vacuum cleaners. He sucked up every baseball hit his way.

In the same way Hoover vacuums were the predominant household appliance of the 1950s, 60s and 70s, Brooks Robinson was the undisputed best fielding third baseman who ever played the game.

Named to Major League Baseball’s All Century Team in 1999, Brooks Robinson played third base for the Baltimore Orioles for an incredible 23 years.

Brooks “Hoover” Robinson Won 16 Gold Gloves in His Career

Robinson’s skill at third base is legendary. With fast hands, quick feet, uncanny expectation and an accurate strong arm, Robinson won an astounding 16 consecutive American League Gold Gloves from 1960 through 1975. He was also named to 15 consecutive American League All-Star teams during the same time. In addition, he finished tops in fielding percentage among third basemen 11 seasons in a row and was voted American League Most Valuable Player in 1964.

Thanks in large part to Brooks Robinson’s consistent stellar play at third base and at the plate, the Baltimore Orioles boasted the best record in all of baseball during Hoover’s 23 years with the organization. Robinson ended his career with a very respectable lifetime batting average of .267 and 2,848 total hits, 268 home runs and 1,357 runs batted in.

Hoover participated in four World Series. He won two of them with the Birds, one in 1966 and again in 1970 in which he was named the Most Valuable Player.

The Orioles retired Brooks Robinson’s number five jersey in 1977. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1983 during his first year of eligibility.

This former Baltimore Oriole is also my #23 overall pick in one of my sports comic books Favorite Sports Nicknames.

Favorite Sports NicknamesNow an accomplished public speaker, Brooks Robinson may be the most popular player in the history of the Baltimore Orioles organization.

Comparing Robinson to baseball legend Babe Ruth, Gordon Beard, an Associated Press Baltimore-based sports reporter remarked about the player called The Hoover Vacuum Cleaner, “Brooks never had a candy bar named after him. But, in Baltimore, people named their children after him.”

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MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!

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