Dave Roberts (roberda05)

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David Arthur Roberts

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Biographical Information[edit]

Not to be confused with three other major leaguers of the same name, Dave Roberts was a lefthander who pitched for several big league teams during a thirteen year career.

After playing in the Philadelphia Phillies and Pittsburgh Pirates farm systems, Roberts was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 1968 Expansion Draft and made his big league debut with the club in 1969. He joined the Padres rotation the next summer and in 1971 won 14 games and posted a 2.10 ERA, second in the National League to Tom Seaver. He and Seaver locked up in two great head-to-head duels in a span of 10 days that year. On August 11th, he pitched shutout ball for 12 innings to beat Seaver and the New York Mets, 1-0, then on August 21st, he lost 2-1 against "Tom Terrific" in spite of allowing only three hits, as Cleon Jones tagged him with a triple in the 7th, coming in to score on a sacrifice fly, and then a walk-off homer with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. Pitching in front of an anemic offense, Roberts was only 14-17 that season while pitching a yeoman-like 269 2/3 innings.

After that season, he was traded to the Houston Astros, for whom he had his best years from 1972 to 1975. There, teamed with Larry Dierker, Ken Forsch, Tom Griffin, and J.R. Richard, he was part of a formidable rotation - when all were healthy, which was not very often. In 1973, Roberts posted 17 wins and recorded 6 shutouts for the Astros.

Roberts was traded to the Detroit Tigers following the 1975 season. In 1976, he had 16 wins and notched 18 complete games for the Tigers. Several years later, he got his only postseason experience appearing in one game in the 1979 National League Championship Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was a member of the World Series-winning team that season, but was not used in the seven-game win over the Baltimore Orioles in the Fall Classic.

Roberts went 103-125 with a 3.78 ERA for eight teams over his career and was a good-hitting pitcher, slugging 7 home runs in 531 at bats.

After his playing days, Roberts was an assistant coach at Potomac State College from 1996 to 1998. He died in 2009 of cancer linked to exposure to asbestos, which occurred when he had an off-season job as a boilermaker early in his career.

Roberts was the father of minor league outfielder Daron Roberts.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Further Reading[edit]

  • Scott Schleifstein: "Two Days in August", The Baseball Record Journal, SABR, Volume 41, Number 2 (Fall 2012), pp. 87-92.

Related Sites[edit]