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Robinson still loves game at 70

June 17, 2007|From the Associated Press

ELLICOTT CITY, MD. — How convenient that Brooks Robinson's business office is located across the street from a golf course. Nothing like 18 holes after lunch to round out the day.

Robinson enjoys playing golf. He loves baseball even more, which explains why the Hall of Fame third baseman will spend his senior years doing more than just lining up putts and traveling around the world.

Robinson is part owner of Opening Day Partners, which owns and operates minor league and independent baseball teams. Sure, Robinson serves as an ambassador for the firm, because almost everyone in and around Baltimore remembers his sensational 23-year career with the Orioles.

But he is not merely a figurehead. Robinson's responsibilities include interviewing managers and coaches for the three teams currently owned by ODP: The Lancaster (Pa.) Barnstormers, the Camden (N.J.) Riversharks and the York (Pa.) Revolution, which is playing its inaugural season this year.

Before becoming a part owner in April, Robinson spent four years as a special assistant to the group. Then he told Chairman Peter Kirk that it was time for a change.

"I said, 'Peter, everyplace I go people think I'm part owner. When I tell them I'm not, they look at me funny. So it kind of makes sense if I had a small piece of the team,' " Robinson said.

Robinson recently helped the group petition the Maryland legislature for money to help finance a team in Waldorf, which is scheduled to launch its season next year. He was also asked to throw out the first ball June 15 at York's home opener.

But Robinson works when he wants to -- the lone stipulation he made upon accepting the responsibility of joining the ownership group.

"I don't want to do something that's going to take up all of my time because I'm doing other things, too," Robinson said. "I play in a lot of golf tournaments, I'm making a lot of speeches, I'm on the go a lot."

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