Thursday, May 6, 2010

1961 Topps #20 Robin Roberts

Phillies 7, Cardinals 2
Game 28 - Thursday Afternoon, May 6th in Philadelphia

It was a surreal day. I returned to work for the first time in two weeks following the birth of our son, Ben. It felt a little like the first day of school, slight case of nausea and all. On the way to lunch with a few co-workers, I came within a foot of Robert DeNiro. He and fellow actor Bradley Cooper were filming a scene for their new movie in front of the building where I work, and DeNiro and I walked right past each other. Back in the office after lunch, my friend Chris motioned me over and asked, "Did you hear about Robin Roberts?" That's never a question you want to hear in regards to someone in their '80s.

Robin Roberts passed away this morning at the age of 83. He pitched for the Phillies from 1948 until 1961. Page 278 of the 2010 Phillies Media Guide contains a listing of the team's career pitching top 10 for all the major pitching categories, and Roberts' name is all over the page. His #36 was the first number retired by the Phillies, and he was the first inductee into the Phillies Wall of Fame. I've read all the statements issued by current and former Phillies including Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Jamie Moyer, Jayson Werth and others, and every single statement makes mention of what a gentleman Roberts was and how he was a pleasure to be around. He was a Hall of Famer, an All-Star, a champion and a class act. And he'll be missed.

The Game: The Phils won easily this afternoon, behind the pitching of Roy Halladay who won his 5th game of the year. Jayson Werth started the scoring early with a 3-run home run in the first. Both Werth and Robin Roberts grew up in Springfield, Illinois, and Werth paid tribute to the all-time great by saluting to the sky when he crossed home plate.


Pop-Pop said...

I saw Robin at Connie Mack with my Dad

Anonymous said...

Though I never saw Roberts play, I was a huge fan of his. I have several autos of his, my favorite is the 1961 Topps Fan Favorites auto. The past few years I have made it a point to go to the Phillies Alumni game to see Roberts (not to mention Schmidt - my all-time favorite, Carlton, Bunning, etc). I'm glad I was able to see Robin a few times in person.

My favorite moment in yesterday's game: when Charlie went out to get Roy and Roy wouldn't come out. He was going to stay in and finish the inning; get out of the jam. In a day to remember Robin Roberts, that was Robin Roberts. He wasn't coming out. And he got out of that jam. Robin would be proud. So here's to Mr. Roberts, the greatest RH Phillies pitcher of all time, and an all-time legend. Cheers.