Yesterday was a good day for the game of baseball, especially defense.

At beautiful Camden Yards, the Orioles unveiled a statue of third baseman Brooks Robinson, arguably the best defensive third baseman in baseball history.

The Red Sox [team stats] took batting practice during the behind-the-stadium ceremony, which was televised inside the stadium. And as Robinson gently ribbed a succession of former teammates such as Paul Blair, Al Bumbry, Boog Powell and Eddie Murray, any observer had to be impressed by the bonds of admiration, professional respect and friendship that can be forged over the course of a 23-year career.

As the tribute went on and on, Jose Iglesias, who was still 13 years away from being born in Cuba when Robinson wrapped up his career in 1977, was inhaling groundballs at the shortstop position, flipping quick feeds to second base and flicking balls to right field during the festivities.

He practiced with energy, he had a smile on his face, he was alert, he was into the moment in a way that too often is missing in a modern-day BP.