Tuesday, August 11, 2009

#15 Robin Roberts

#15 Robin Roberts
Sit back and get comfortable, because today's post is the first of an entire box full of 1965 Topps that I received from the magnanimous Jamie Whyte. He was willing to part with this cardboard smorgasbord because he is no longer actively collecting. In return, he simply asked for cards "of some particular interest or merit". I did my best to extract a variety of sharp-looking cards from my collection, and sent them off to Jamie, but I assure you that anything I gave him paled in comparison to my half of the trade. So again, I offer my hearty thanks!

Fun facts about Robin Roberts:

-A Springfield, IL native, Robin served in the U.S. Army in World War II, then signed with the Phillies in 1948 out of Michigan State University.

-He went 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA at Class B Wilmington and was promoted to the majors by June of his first pro year, sporting a 3.19 ERA and completing nine of his 20 starts for a bad Philly team.

-After notching 15 W's in his sophomore season, Robin led the very young 1950 Phillies squad to the World Series. He won 20 games for the first of six straight seasons (before he came along, the Phils hadn't had a 20-game winner since Grover Cleveland Alexander in 1917!) and pitched amazing ball in the Fall Classic. In Game 2, he lost a 10-inning complete-game heartbreaker to the Yankees, 2-1, and returned in relief in Game 4, pitching a scoreless inning in vain as New York completed the sweep.

-Was the National League's Player of the Year in 1952 (as voted by The Sporting News): 28-7, 2.59 ERA, 30 complete games, 45 walks in 330 innings, 1.02 WHIP.

-For his career, Robin was a seven-time All-Star and led the National League in wins four straight years, complete games five straight years, innings pitched five straight years, strikeouts twice, and shutouts and WHIP once each. He also topped the loop in home runs allowed five times, but allowed such a low number of baserunners that it didn't hurt him badly to say the least!

-The Phillies released Roberts after a dismal 1961 (1-10, 5.85), and the Yankees cut him the following Spring Training. The Orioles took a flyer on the 35-year-old and reaped the benefits: in three and a half seasons, Robin won 42, lost 36, and notched a 3.09 ERA for the Birds. He also served as a veteran influence on a talented young pitching staff.

-Had short stints with the Astros and the Cubs to wrap up his career. In 19 seasons, he was 286-245 with a 3.41 ERA, 2,357 strikeouts, and 305 complete games.

-Was the only pitcher to beat the Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta Braves.

-Among his post-career accolades, he has had his uniform number retired by the Phillies and the Vermont Mountaineers (he had moonlighted as a basketball player, briefly playing for a pro team in VT), and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.

-Coached the University of South Florida baseball team (1977-1985), guiding the Bulls to their first NCAA postseason tournament in 1982. To this day, he is active with the Baseball Hall of Fame.
#15 Robin Roberts (back)


  1. Great card. Roberts is one of my favorite pitchers from the 1950s.

    (I once had his 1956 Topps card, but I have no idea what happened to it. Yes, I'm sad about that).

  2. He would have been a great one to have on a keeper Strat-O-Matic team in the 50s.

  3. Roberts wrapped up his major-league career in 1966, and played for the Phillies douoble-A team in Reading, PA in 1967.