Brooks Robinson spoke on behalf of the Utah Baseball team Wednesday night in Salt Lake. (Photo by George Seeley)
Jan. 18, 2007
SALT LAKE CITY -- The University of Utah baseball team held An Evening With Brooks Robinson Wednesday night at the Sheraton City Centre in Salt Lake City. Robinson spoke to a crowd of more than 200 baseball fans, which included members of the 2007 Utah Baseball squad.
The event, which supports Utah Baseball, and serves as an unofficial kick off to the Utes' season is in its third year. Terry Francona, manager of the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox, spoke in 2005. The 2006 guest was former Baltimore Oriole and Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.
This year, another former Oriole and Hall of Famer was the featured guest. Robinson, known as the "Human Vacuum Cleaner," is widely regarded as the best defensive third baseman ever to play the game.
Robinson touched on many subjects during his talk, which followed the dinner service Wednesday night. He shared his feelings about playing in the World Series, playing with one team for his entire career, the current salary situation in baseball and even touched on the steroid issue, which has become a hot-button topic in the sport. Robinson also shared many great anecdotes from his playing days, including a favorite story or two about legendary manager Earl Weaver.
In addition to Robinson's speech and a question-and-answer session, there was an auction of memorabilia. A baseball signed by every member of the American League Champion Detroit Tigers, courtesy of former Ute and current Tiger Chris Shelton, was auctioned. Brooks Robinson items included an autographed bat, two autographed prints of Robinson, including his famous Norman Rockwell painting, and an autographed Robinson jersey. Also included in the auction was a four-day, three-game trip to Fenway Park for four, donated by Francona. It was the third straight year Francona has donated the tickets, hotel and field passes for this trip.
All told, the auction items themselves raised nearly $10,000. All proceeds from the dinner and auction went directly toward support of the Utah Baseball program.