Keeping up With Dave Roberts
November 11, 2017 4:00 pm | by | Posted In Boston Red Sox
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Dave Roberts wasn’t known as a huge impact player during his time in Boston.
Although he only played one season with the team, that being in 2004, without his speed the Red Sox may have never reversed the curse.
Roberts was drafted out of college in the 28th round by the Detroit Tigers, after a couple of seasons with their minor league team, where he almost quit baseball all together, he was then traded to the Cleveland Indians.
While in Cleveland, he started with their Double-A affiliate then worked his way up. When he reached Triple-A he was really excited because it was one step closer to the big leagues. Then in 1999 he was invited to Spring Training with the Indians as a non-roster invitee. He started that season in Triple-A, but the Indians went on to buy his contract. In his first major league game, he batted lead off and went 3 for 5. Not too bad for an MLB debut.
Roberts played in 41 games that season which was his best season with the Indians. In 2000, he was moved back down to Triple-A and only played 19 games with the Indians that season and just 15 the next.
Roberts first full MLB season came in 2002 when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He batted .277 with 45 stolen bases. Throughout Roberts’ career, his speed was his main asset as anytime he was on the base paths the pitchers would have to look him over one extra time. After two and a half average seasons with the Dodgers, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox where he would make his biggest contribution of his major league career.
In the 2004 ALDS against the New York Yankees, the Red Sox were facing elimination in the bottom of the ninth trailing 4-3 with Kevin Millar at the plate. Millar went on to walk and was pinch ran for by Roberts, whose only job was to steal second base. Everyone knew he was going and after getting looked back by Mariano Rivera about four times, but he still went on to steel second. Bill Mueller would then go on to hit an outfield single and Roberts would score, tying the game at 4-4. The Red Sox went on to win that game in the 12th inning and the World Series that year.
Roberts was then traded to the Padres after that season where he played two seasons and a whole lot of games for the ball club. His batting average in San Diego was .285 and he stole 72 bases for the team in two seasons.
After that, Roberts signed for three years with the San Francisco Giants, but was released after just two seasons, due to poor performance along with injuries. Over his 10-year career, Roberts batted just .266 but he stole 243 bases, proving his effectiveness on the base paths.
After that season, Roberts came back to Boston and joined NESN as a broadcaster/ analyst, but left after one year to join the San Diego Padres as a coach. Roberts coached with the Padres for five years before he was hired as the Head Coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2016.
Roberts, the 2016 NL Manager of the Year, just wrapped up his second campaign as the skipper of the Dodgers, who he took to the 2017 World Series, before falling to the Houston Astros in Game 7.