Brooks Robinson, who died this week at age 86, was known as perhaps the premier defensive player of his position during his Hall of Fame career with the Baltimore Orioles.
As a third baseman across 23 seasons for the Baltimore Orioles, Robinson won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves between 1960 and 1975. He was the 1964 Most Valuable Player, playing in 18 All-Star games.
As an offensive threat, Robinson was good but not great. He hit .267 in a generally pitching-dominant era. He hit 268 home runs and drove in 1,357 runs with 100-plus seasons in 1964 (118) and 1966 (100).
He played on World Series winners in 1966 and 1970, when he was the World Series MVP with a .429 batting average and a fielding display that is still talked about.
He was a career .303 postseason hitter in 39 games with five home runs and 22 RBI. He won election to the Hall of Fame in 1983, his first year of eligibility, with 92 percent of the vote.
We are not yet able to calculate Defensive Runs Saved for players of Robinson’s era, but the stats we do have testify to his defensive brilliance. He had a .971 career fielding average across nearly 2,900 games as an Oriole third baseman. He had a Defensive War of 39.1, representing nearly half of his career 78.4 WAR. That’s extraordinary.
This is a look at the 10 best games of Brooks Robinson’s career with the Baltimore Orioles based on the Win Probability Added of each of those games.
It’s an eclectic group of games, spanning 17 seasons and culminating with the last home run Robinson ever hit. It was a game-winner.