Baltimore Orioles legend Brooks Robinson died on Tuesday, the team announced. The Hall of Fame third baseman was 86 years old.
"We are deeply saddened to share the news of the passing of Brooks Robinson," the Orioles' joint statement with the Robinson family read. "An integral part of our Orioles Family since 1955, he will continue to leave a lasting impact on our club, our community, and the sport of baseball."
Robinson spent the entirety of his 23-year career with the Orioles franchise and helped the franchise win two World Series titles. He batted .267/.322/.401 with 268 home runs and 1,357 RBI. He won 16 Gold Glove Awards and made 18 All-Star Games. He was voted to the Hall of Fame in 1983, having received 92% of the vote.
Robinson also won the 1964 Most Valuable Player Award, as well as the 1970 World Series MVP Award and the 1966 All-Star Game MVP Award.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred released the following statement about Robinson:
"All of us at Major League Baseball are saddened by the loss of Brooks Robinson, one of the greats of our National Pastime and a legend of the Baltimore Orioles. Brooks stood among the greatest defensive players who have ever lived. [...] He was a model of excellence, durability, loyalty and winning baseball for the Orioles. After his playing career, he continued to make contributions to the game by working with the MLB Players Alumni Association. I will always remember Brooks as a true gentleman who represented our game extraordinarily well on and off the field all his life. On behalf of Major League Baseball, I send my deepest condolences to Brooks' family, his many friends across our game, and Orioles fans everywhere."
Robinson originally joined the Orioles as an amateur free agent for a $4,000 signing bonus, according to his SABR biography. Part of Robinson's motivation for joining the Orioles was that he could move quickly through the system. (The Orioles had only recently relocated to Baltimore.) Sure enough, Robinson made his debut in Sept. 1955, just four months after celebrating his 18th birthday, and with fewer than 100 minor-league games under his belt.
Robinson's contributions were estimated to be worth 78.4 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball-Reference. That ranks as the seventh most all-time for a player who appeared in at least 50% of their games at third base. To this day, he ranks second in Orioles franchise history in WAR, behind only Cal Ripken Jr.
Robinson was part of two World Series-winning Orioles squads, in 1966 and 1970. Those Orioles also won the American League pennant in 1969 and 1971, though they lost in the Fall Classic to the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates.
So beloved was Robinson that an Associated Press columnist once wrote: "Brooks never asked anyone to name a candy bar after him. In Baltimore, they name their children after him."