Behind the scenes at Revs’ celebration
No doubt one of the highlights from yesterday’s celebration at City Hall honoring the Revs for their 2011 Atlantic League championship was the surprise visit from Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, who stood alongside his pal Etch during the ceremonies. But what stood out to me from yesterday was seeing the interaction between the two as former teammates from the greatest era in Baltimore Orioles history.
We’ve enjoyed working with Etch and getting to know him and being around him on a daily basis as he’s become part of the fabric here in York the last three summers, but yesterday we got to see a different side of him.
I was standing next to him in the Revs clubhouse when Brooks walked in. Etch’s face lit up as he saw his former teammate who he called his best friend in baseball, shouting “Hey Brooksy!” from the other side of the room. The two picked up the conversation quite naturally from wherever it may have been where they left off when they got together last.
Riding the bus from the stadium to City Hall, the two were recounting stories from their time together as players. Etch told Brooks that for some reason, he started thinking about their trip to Japan the night before, when after the 1971 season the Orioles traveled to the Far East to take on Japanese All-Star teams in a series of exhibition games on which they went 15-1-2. Brooks recalled how, even in a series of exhibition games, manager Earl Weaver was so all about winning that after one loss he told his players that if any of them didn’t want to be there to play they should go home. Brooks remarked about how sharp Earl is to this day from recent conversations, and how well he can remember such detail from decades ago.
Brooks recalled that time in Japan as not the best for one’s diet, joking about how much weight teammate Boog Powell added during those few weeks, and taking a jab at himself stating that he looked like “Little Booger” by the time the Far East trip concluded.
But being around Etch everyday, and then getting to see that side of him as he recounted stories from 40-some years ago, sitting in the presence of two legends from the greatest times in Orioles history, it made an impression on me and was something I’ll always remember from yesterday’s celebration. And just being around it for a few minutes, you could get a sense of how great those times must have been.