Roberts, Dave : Jews In Sports @ Virtual Museum

Roberts, Dave

David Arthur Roberts

Roberts, whose father is Jewish, pitched for 11 organizations during his professional baseball career. The southpaw observed: "The way I look at it, either I'm a bum or everybody wants me."

Birth and Death Dates:
b. September 11, 1944

Career Highlights:
After graduating high school, Roberts was approached by 14 teams and eventually played in the Phillies, A's, and Pirates farm systems before being selected by the San Diego Padres in the 1968 expansion draft. Dave made his big league debut the following season, pitching in 22 games (5 starts) and going 0-3 with a 4.81 ERA. In 1971, Roberts was a bright spot for the last-place Padres. With a 14-17 record, Dave finished second (to Tom Seaver) in the NL in ERA with a 2.10 mark. He pitched so outstandingly that he also finished 6th in the Cy Young voting that year. In 1972, Dave was sent to the Houston Astros and hurled superbly for them, going 12-7 (1972) and 17-11 (1973) in consecutive seasons. In 1973, he set a club record with 6 shutouts, and was tenth in the league with a 2.85 ERA.

Roberts changed teams again in 1976, playing for the Detroit Tigers and going 16-17 with a 4.00 ERA. He required surgery after the season, though, to correct an arthritic knee . Dave then moved from the Tigers to the Chicago Cubs during the 1977 season. He went 6-8 for the Cubs in 1978, but hit a remarkable .327 in over 50 plate appearances. The following year, he began the season with the San Francisco Giants but then moved to the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 5-2 with an excellent 3.26 ERA for Pittsburgh. The Pirates won the World Series that year, but Dave had only one postseason appearance, walking the only batter he faced in the NLCS. Roberts, who struck out over 100 batters in 5 different seasons, and customarily fanned far more hitters than he walked, remained in the majors for another two seasons. He played for both the Pirates and the Seattle Mariners in 1980 before ending his career with the New York Mets in 1981. He finished his career with a 103-125 record and a 3.78 ERA.

Career Dates:
Roberts pitched for the San Diego Padres, 1969-71, the Houston Astros, 1972-75, the Detroit Tigers, 1976-77, the Chicago Cubs, 1977-78, the San Francisco Giants, 1979, the Pittsburgh Pirates, 1979-80, the Seattle Mariners, 1980, and the New York Mets, 1981.


Physical description:
6'3", 195 pounds

Career Statistics:
Wins: 103
Losses: 125
Winning pct.: .452

ERA: 3.78

Games: 445
Games Started: 277
Complete Games: 77

Innings Pitched: 2098
Hits Allowed: 2188
Bases-on-Balls: 615
Strike Outs: 957

Shut-outs: 20

Relief Pitching
Wins: 14
Losses: 5
Saves: 15

At-bats: 531
Hits: 103
Home Runs: 7
Batting Average: .194

Fielding Statistics
Put-outs: 83
Assists: 383
Errors: 16
Double Plays: 23

Total Chances per Game: 1.1
Fielding avg: .967

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The Baseball Encyclopedia: Tenth Edition (New York: McMillan, 1996)