Dave Roberts (outfielder)
|San Diego Padres – No. 10|
|Outfielder / 1st base coach|
May 31, 1972 |
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|August 7, 1999 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 2008 for the San Francisco Giants|
|Runs batted in||213|
|Career highlights and awards|
David Ray Roberts (born May 31, 1972 in Okinawa, Japan) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder. Previously, he played with the Cleveland Indians (1999-2001), Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-2004), Boston Red Sox (2004), San Diego Padres (2005-2006), and San Francisco Giants (2007-2008). Roberts bats and throws left-handed. He is the son of a retired Marine in Japan (Waymon Roberts) and a Japanese mother (Eiko) and was raised in San Diego, California. He is best known for his stolen base in the 9th inning of Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS, which was such a notable play that it is often simply referred to as "The Steal." He is currently the first base coach for the San Diego Padres.
High school, college 
Roberts attended Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, California, where he was a standout in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was a three-year starter at quarterback; as a senior, he helped lead his team to the San Diego Section Class 3A championship.
He was a member of the UCLA Bruins baseball team.
Major league career 
Roberts had above-average knowledge of the strike zone. He had little power, but was a spray hitter who used raw speed to get on base and stretch singles to doubles. Once on base, he commonly "manufactured" runs by employing such tactics as stealing second base, moving to third on a grounder, and coming home on a sacrifice fly. When he was healthy, Roberts was widely known as one of the best base stealers in baseball. From 2002 to 2006, Roberts had 195 steals, as well as an 81 percent success rate, both of which were the second-best in the majors among base stealers with 175 steals just behind stolen base king Rickey Henderson in the career stolen base rate rankings. Roberts had exceptional range in the outfield, but his below-average arm occasionally allowed his opponents to take extra bases on him.
Early Years 
Roberts was originally drafted by the Cleveland Indians in 1993 but did not sign with the team. In 1994, he was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the 28th round of the amateur draft. In June 1998, Roberts was traded by the Tigers with Tim Worrell to the Indians for Geronimo Berroa. Roberts made his major league debut in 1999 for Cleveland and bounced back and forth between the Indians and their Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, for the next three seasons. On December 22, 2001, Roberts was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers. Roberts appeared as the Dodgers primary center fielder until his trade to the Boston Red Sox at the 2004 trade deadline.
"The Steal" 
Roberts made a large contribution to the 2004 Red Sox' championship post-season, even though he did not play in the 2004 World Series. Most notable was his stolen base against the Yankees in the ALCS Game 4. The Red Sox were facing elimination in the bottom of the ninth inning, down 4 runs to 3. Kevin Millar drew a walk from Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. Roberts, who had not played in ten days, came in to pinch run. Rivera threw to first base three times (the last almost picked off Roberts); on the next pitch, Roberts stole second base, just beating the throw. Bill Mueller followed with a single, Roberts scored, and the Sox went on to win in twelve innings and begin their run of eight straight wins, culminating in Boston's first World Series title since 1918. In 2006, the event was recognized as a Memorable Moment in Red Sox history by the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame. He retained lasting status as a hero in Boston, later receiving standing ovations in Fenway every time he came up to bat for the Giants.
San Diego Padres 
The Red Sox organization was pleased with Roberts's performance but couldn't make use of him in 2005. They arranged for a trade with the San Diego Padres; Roberts was exchanged for Jay Payton. The speedy Roberts seemed a good choice to roam the spacious outfield at Petco Park. He played center field for the Padres until they acquired Gold Glove winner Mike Cameron from the New York Mets before the 2006 season. Roberts then moved to left field. That 2006 season, Roberts established career highs with a .293 batting average, 49 steals, and 13 triples, the latter mark tying Tony Gwynn's 19-year single-season franchise record.
San Francisco Giants 
In December 2006, Roberts signed with the San Francisco Giants. The Giants, trying to acquire a center fielder, first tried to sign Gary Matthews, Jr. and Juan Pierre, but both players passed on the Giants in favor of other teams. Roberts agreed to a 3-year, $18-million deal with the team in early December 2006. By signing with the Giants, Roberts and teammate Ryan Klesko were reunited with former Padre manager Bruce Bochy and Third base coach Tim Flannery, who had become the Giants' new manager and third base coach, respectively, about a month prior. The Giants backloaded the deal, agreeing to pay Roberts $5 million in 2007 and $6.5 million in 2008 and 2009.
Roberts' career with the Giants got off to a slow start because of injury. He spent most of May and early June on the disabled list. Roberts was batting only .216 before he went on the disabled list, but his swing had been hampered by the bone chips and spurs in his elbow that required surgery. When Roberts returned, his numbers improved, but they were not in line with his production in 2006. Some Giants announcers speculated on broadcasts that Roberts had come back too early from elbow surgery because of his desire to help the team. Roberts' production was also limited upon his return by other minor nagging injuries. His typical offensive production returned in July and August. On April 10, 2009 Roberts was released by the Giants. On April 12, 2009, Roberts retired.
In March 2010, Roberts was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Coaching career 
Roberts spent 2010 as a Baseball Operations Special Assistant for the Padres.
On October 7, 2010 Roberts was named Padres 1st base coach for the 2011 season.
See also 
- Dave Roberts Statistics - The Baseball Cube
- Fortner, Mitch. "Dave Roberts, OF, San Francisco Giants." December 17, 2006. http://www.kffl.com/article.php/62832/88.
- ESPN - Pedroia, Drew combine for eight RBIs to beat Giants - MLB
- Schulman, Henry. "Third choice, top dollar: Giants sign Roberts for three years, $18 million." The San Francisco Chronicle. Sunday, December 3, 2006. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/12/02/SPdroberts02.DTL&hw=Dave+roberts+year+deal&sn=003&sc=639. Accessed on August 17, 2007.
- Schulman, Henry. "Roberts' return could provide spark." The San Francisco Chronicle. Monday, June 4, 2007. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2007/06/04/SPG5AQ6AV41.DTL&hw=Dave+Roberts+injury&sn=002&sc=834. Accessed on August 17, 2007.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Dave Roberts|
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
- Dave Roberts interviewed at OceanViewPress.com
- USA Today: Mr. Roberts goes home to San Diego