"I asked him to play behind the bag and I told him I could beat out a bunt, and I tried it and he still threw me out," Valentine said. "And he was way behind the bag. He made the play coming in as well as anyone I ever saw. He was one of the kindest, most considerate people I've ever talked to, in uniform and out of uniform. Somehow, he came up with those big hits, even though his swing didn't always look that good. He found a way to hit a ball in the gap."
Many experts have cited Robinson to be the best defensive third baseman to ever play the game. Valentine does not disagree.
"A lot of third basemen prior to him had to have the 95-mile-per-hour fastball like Clete Boyer, the great third baseman of the [1960's] prior," Valentine said. "Brooks showed people that you could throw people out without having great velocity on throws."
Red Sox senior advisor to the president/CEO Charles Steinberg, who broke into baseball with the Orioles, gave a stirring speech at Robinson's dedication, at one point bringing legendary former Baltimore manager Earl Weaver to tears.