Brooks Robinson and Boog Powell used to look like they had played together forever when they patrolled the corner infield spots for the Orioles.
Today, when they talked with reporters after throwing out ceremonial first pitches at Camden Yards, it was like no time had passed since they had last taken the field.
They praised each other, traded quips and handled questions as smoothly as Brooks used to handle ground balls or Boog a throw in the dirt.
“It was wonderful,” Brooks said. “Opening Day is always a great part of baseball. I must have talked to 25 people in the last few days that talked about coming here. It’s great to be here and see everyone, especially get to see some of the new players.”
The duo is expected back at the Yard a few times this year to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the O’s topping the Reds in the 1970 World Series.
“Forty years, that’s hard to believe. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem liked I played. The first ball I got in that World Series was like a 24 hopper and I made a high throw to Boog for an error. I couldn’t believe it. The 1969 Series I got one hit and here make an error on the first ball,” Brooks said.
Of course he handled everything after that, making great play after great play as the O’s beat the Reds in five games.
“I can’t believe I’ve been up here pushing beef for 19 years,” Boog said. “Anytime they boo you it brings back old memories. Most of the time here there was a G on it. Opening Day is a special feeling.
“My first one was Yankee Stadium in 1962. Whitey Ford struck me out three times in a row. ‘Welcome to the big leagues kid.’”
Brooks was asked if he is surprised that the fans still have such affection for players on that team all these years later.
“Boog and I chose to stay here. We are one of them (Baltimoreans). I always say the best decision I ever made was to sign with the Orioles.”
Both players talked about the recent death of former O’s Cy Young winner Mike Cuellar.
“We’ve lost too many people off that team. I hate that,” Boog said.