Game Biographies

While it has been some time since my last Five Minute Fiction For Free offering, I have been busy writing. You see, the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) has begun a massive project to collect a 2,000-4,000 biography of every player who ever played in the major leagues. As if that project weren’t big enough, SABR has also decided to amass game biographies, that is a 1,000-1,500 word essay on every game ever played. These are not simple recaps; the writer must incorporate what was historic or memorable about that particular game. The game may be memorable from the writer’s personal perspective, which led me to write about three games in particular. The first is “Thanks, Brooks” Day September 18, 1977 that was held to honor Brooks Robinson upon his retirement. The second was Brooksie’s Hall of Fame Celebration Night played on August 5, 1983. Martha and I attended these two games, and we listened on the radio to the third game played August 24, in which Tippy Martinez picked off three Blue Jays in the same inning. The first two games were personally memorable and the Tippy Martinez game was one of the craziest games every played. You can read the game accounts by clicking on the links to the right of the photos below:

“Thanks, Brooks” DayThanks Brooks program0001 Brooks '83 program

Brooks Robinson Hall of Fame Celebration Night

Tippy Martinez Picks Off Three Blue Jays


About Austin Gisriel

You know the guy that records a baseball game from the West Coast in July and doesn't watch it until January just to see baseball in the winter? That's me. I'm a writer always in search of a good story, baseball or otherwise.
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10 Responses to Game Biographies

  1. Don Hoover says:

    This is a great article, and I have a Book that Brooks wrote called Putting It All Together, in which he was the Show Case for the 1970 World Series against the Big Red Machine. I don’t know if you have a copy, but if not, I will be glad to let you borrow it sometime. Brooks will always be Mr. Oriole in this town.


  2. al smith says:

    Good stuff Giz. Good memories and great times to be an Oriole fan.


  3. Don Hoover says:

    Why am I surprised that you had a copy?!!


  4. Jerry says:

    Good stuff, this. Almost as good as being there. I can almost taste that foot long sans mustard.
    That must have been some night where Tippy got his hat trick. He had no Andy Pettit pick-off move so there must have been more than a little lack of focus on the part of the runners.

    Not having been a particular Orioles fan, I still understand the popularity of Brooks. I can think of a few other players since who have had a big impact on their towns. Derek Jeter, Ernie Banks, Don Gibson, Tony Gwinn to name a few.


    • Actually, Jerry, the Blue Jays were very focused–on second base!

      Every town thinks its particular hero is the greatest, but Brooks was always so genuine and friendly. If you lived in Baltimore and you didn’t have a Brooksie autograph, it’s because you didn’t ask.


  5. Jerry says:

    Point taken. Not trying to belittle Robinson. I am sure he was/is a true gent. But not unique in that department. (I know them’s fight’n words, sorry)
    Did I say “Don” Gibson? Must have mistaken rock-n-roll for baseball. I meant Bob, as I am sure you are aware.


    • No, I understood what you meant, Jerry. I do think that Brooks was unique in degree, but again, I’m sure (and I hope) that Cubs fans feel that way about Ernie Banks, etc. Regardless, it’s always a great feeling to meet your hero and find out that he or she is a nice person, and genuine, too. I’m amazed, really, at how many of those guys are.


  6. Don Hoover says:

    I wish the players of today would adopt the Ernie Banks approach to the game. “LETS PLAY 2”!


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