An Ode to Robin Roberts

May 6, 2010 – 12:01 pm by admin

It is a truly sad day in Philadelphia.

No, not because the Flyers are down 3-0 in their series against Boston. And not because some other idiot ran onto the field at a Phillies game and got tasered. That would just be funny.

It’s because former Phillie standout and Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts died Thursday at his home in Temple Terrace, Fla. He was 83.

Most of the people that read this entry are too young to have any idea who Robin Roberts was as a baseball player, let alone to see him play. Heck, my dad was born nine years after Roberts led the “Whiz Kids” to the pennant in 1950.

Let’s take a moment to put his career in perspective.

It spanned 18 years starting in 1948. His last games came as a Chicago Cub (go figure) in 1966. He was an all star seven times and was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1976.

Along the way he piled up 286 wins, 2,357 strikeouts, a 3.41 lifetime ERA, a remarkable 305 complete games and 45 shutouts. Consider this: During his prime in the early 50s he went over the 300 inning plateau every year from 1950-55.

Roberts is best remembered as a 23-year old star with the Whiz Kids in 1950 (which featured a young Richie Ashburn, among others) but his best year statistically came in 1952 when he went 28-7 with a 2.59 ERA and 30 complete games in 330 innings.

In short, he was a stud in a pitching era that’s gone far by the wayside.

The Associated Press story commemorating his career summed it up like this:

Best-selling author James A. Michener, who lived outside Philadelphia, once summed up Roberts’ career in The New York Times.

“For two generations of fans, he symbolized the best in athletic competition,” Michener wrote. “Day after day he went out there and threw that high, hard one down the middle, a marvelously coordinated man doing his job. If he had pitched for the Yankees he might have won 350 games.”

And with that, rest in peace Robin Roberts. You were one helluva ball player.

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  1. 8 Responses to “An Ode to Robin Roberts”

  2. Incredible player and a great man. 23 complete games in a row? Thats unheard of and will never happen again!Over 300 complete games?

    By chris on May 6, 2010

  3. Putting Robin Robert’s accomplishments into perspective is difficult. First and foremost, he played on some of the lousiest Philadelphia teams. Despite that he racked up a win/loss, completed games, innings pitched record that is Hall of Fame stuff.

    At one point he pitched five games in a row – the last one on two days rest. Finally, by all accounts Roberts was the consummate gentleman. Sports need more guys like this.

    By Bernie on May 7, 2010

  4. As a young kid I remember carrying a Robin Roberts baseball card around in my “treasure box”. He was always menacing when he was pitching at Wrigley. He was just an amazing pitcher but an even more amazing person. He autographed a program for me.

    God be with you.

    By Raceshooter on May 7, 2010

  5. I am 67 when i was a kid growing up in Mays Landing, n.j. thek Phillies were terrible. But the big thing was when Robin was pitching.He was a Great Pitcher, but also a very Classy man. His family should be very proud of him. and I will always remember watching him pitch when i was a yound man. Lenny

    By lennybarish on May 7, 2010

  6. Remember watching Robin Roberts pitch at Connie Mack Stadium with my Dad. Also met him & he gave me his autograph. He always had time for his fans. Robin was the last of a breed of ball players that never complained & did more then asked to do whatever the teams record. He would have pitched every night if asked to. Ball players like Robin Roberts is one of the reasons I am still a loyal Phillies Fan for over 50 years. May he keep pitching in Heaven.

    Chris K West Chester, PA

    By Anonymous on May 7, 2010

  7. I was born in 1949. Robin was of course my favorite Phillie and Major League player. I had is baseball card when I was about 7 years old, and would never use it when tossing cards.
    Thanks Robin for for being such a great inspiration to me, and the game of baseball.
    For me, you were and remain the greatest Phillie pitcher ever.

    By Ken on May 7, 2010

  8. #36 was a fantastic pitcher for some really lousy Phillies teams. Double header Sundays against the dreaded Dodgers with Robbie and Don Newcomb pitching one of the games were special days. Go in peace big guy. Say hi to my Dad in heaven — he was your biggest fan.

    By George Z on May 7, 2010

  9. I was born and raised on 2745 North Gratz St. In deep right field one block from Shibe Park AKA Connie mack Stadium. Robin Roberts was 28 and 7 in 1952 [I was 14 years old] He was 9 and 5 up to June 15th, after that he was 19 and 2. With that record he was not the MVP they gave that honor to Hank Sauer who had 37 homers and about 120 RBI’S for the 5th place Cubs [ It was the Chicago writers who didn’t vote for him] After that SNUB they came up with the Cy Young award. He also that year was 6 and 0 against the mighty Dodgers.

    By Tony on May 9, 2010

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