The baseball world and fans of the Baltimore Orioles are mourning the loss of Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson, who passed away at the age of 86. As we remember his remarkable life and career, let’s also take a closer look at the personal side of Brooks Robinson, particularly his loving relationship with his wife, Constance Louise “Connie” Butcher.
Who is Brook Robinson’s wife Constance Louise Butcher?
Robinson’s journey to meeting Connie was a charming one. The encounter took place on an Orioles team flight from Kansas City to Boston in July 1959. Connie was working as a flight attendant for United Airlines at the time. Robinson was instantly smitten, repeatedly ordering iced teas from her. With a little encouragement from teammates, he mustered the courage to approach her.
After enjoying his third glass of iced tea, Robinson returned the empty glass to Connie in the galley and, with a smile, told her: “I want to tell you something. If any of these guys, the Baltimore Orioles, ask you for a date, tell ’em you don’t date married men. Understand? I’m the only single guy on the team.” Ironically, nearly half of the Orioles were single. However, this playful banter led to a date being arranged before the plane even touched down in Boston.
Their connection blossomed, leading to their marriage in Connie’s hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, on October 8, 1960. The couple settled in Owings Mills, Maryland, a suburb of Baltimore, where they built a life together. They were blessed with four children: Brooks David (born 1961), Chris (born 1963), Michael (born 1964), and Diana (born 1968).
Robinson underwent a significant change in his faith during his life. Initially raised as a Methodist, he converted to Catholicism in 1970, embracing his wife’s faith. This conversion was prompted by his son, Brooks David, who questioned why his father attended a different church than the rest of the family on Sunday mornings. Seeking guidance, Robinson turned to family friend Father Martin Schwalenberg, who introduced him to the Catholic faith. In his 1974 autobiography, Robinson reflected on his faith journey, stating, “For me, there is still one absolute—Jesus Christ.”
Beyond his illustrious baseball career, Robinson had a passion for reading and was part of multiple book clubs during his Orioles tenure. He had a particular affinity for books about the Civil War and World War II. Additionally, he enjoyed country western music, showcasing his diverse interests outside of baseball.
Robinson faced health challenges in later years, including a prostate cancer diagnosis in 2009, which was fortunately detected early and successfully treated. In 2010, he underwent a significant abdominal operation, followed by an infection in 2011, which led to an extended hospital stay. In January 2012, Robinson endured another health scare when he fell off a raised platform during a charity banquet, resulting in another month-long hospitalization and rehabilitation.
In April 2014, Robinson and his legal team sought a $9.9 million settlement from the Seminole Tribe of Florida as a result of the accident. Despite these health setbacks, Brooks Robinson’s enduring spirit and legacy in the world of baseball and beyond continue to be celebrated by fans and admirers.