Frank Robinson stood underneath his No. 20 that’s mounted on Hall of Fame row in the clubhouse and addressed the team before today’s workout.
“He obviously can command a room,” manager Buck Showalter said. “He’s been in front of players for quite a while. You can tell he has a real affinity for the Orioles.”
“The guy’s been there, done that. A Hall of Famer,” Luke Scott said.
“Obviously, it’s a good idea to listen and take to heart what he says. Even though he played in a different era, the things he talked about weren’t just principles for success in the game of baseball. They were what I call basic Godly principles, American principles, what this country was founded on. Be prepared, don’t make excuses, work hard, be a person of honor and integrity, be a person that’s honest, and think about this game and how special it is. Live in the moment and be thankful and try to be in it as long as you can.”
Showalter would like Cal Ripken to visit camp, but the Iron Man’s busy schedule might not allow it.
Former Orioles Mike Bordick, B.J. Surhoff and Brady Anderson are in camp, both as instructors and reminders of better days.
“I remember when we came out of the theater the other night, Brady, B.J., Bordy and Crow (Terry Crowley) were all sitting out there,” Showalter said, “and I was thinking to myself while I was going home, they have people around who knew what this place used to be like and to remind them how it got that way. A real voice of credibility where the Orioles are concerned, and that’s important to me.”
Younger players don’t always know or appreciate the accomplishments of the greats who came before them, and that includes Robinson.
Was that the case today?
“The fashionable thing would be to say, ‘Probably not,’ ” Showalter said, “but I’ve got to tell you, looking at them today when he was talking and seeing the 20 over his shoulder and putting the HOF next to his name when he signed it, and a little introductory reminder before he started talking...”