Robin Roberts

Robin Evan Roberts
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1976
Primary team: Philadelphia Phillies
Primary position: Pitcher

Over the course of his career, Robin Roberts was two distinct types of pitcher. Hall of Famer Ralph Kiner described the early part of his career best, when he said “Probably the best fastball I ever saw was Robin Roberts. His ball would rise around six or eight inches, and with plenty on it. And he had great control.”

Robin Roberts first toed the rubber for the Philadelphia Phillies at the age of 21 in 1948, against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He walked the first batter he faced on what he described as “four of the wildest pitches you ever saw.” Roberts settled down though and struck out the next batter using what would become his signature pitch, the hard rising fastball. Roberts went eight innings exhibiting strong command, but took the hard luck 2-0 loss. He bounced back five days later and earned the first of his 286 career wins, a complete game victory over the Cincinnati Reds.

From 1950-1955, Roberts was arguably the most dominant pitcher in the league recording six straight 20 win sea-sons, and in 1950 led the “Whiz Kids” to their first World Series appearance since 1915. Whiz Kids teammate Curt Simmons recalled “He was like a diesel engine. The more you used him, the better he ran. I don’t think you could wear him out. The end of the 1950 season, I was in the Army and I think Bob Miller had a bad back. I know Robin had to throw almost every day.” As the decade of the 1950’s wore on, Roberts lost velocity on his fastball. His precision control allowed him to reinvent himself as the type of finesse pitcher that Hall of Famer Willie Stargell said “looks like the kind of pitcher you can’t wait to swing at, but you swing, and the ball isn’t where you thought it was.”

Roberts retired in 1966. A seven time All-Star, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976. Phillies chairman Bill Giles said it best, when he said “When I think of Robin there is definitely one word that comes quickly to mind: Class. He was a class act both on and off the field. He was definitely one of the most consistent quality pitchers of all time, and the way he lived his life was exemplary. Every young baseball player should model their life after Robin.”

"Probably the best fastball I ever saw was Robin Roberts. Robin didn’t throw as hard as Rex Barney, but his ball would rise around six or eight inches, and with plenty on it. And he had great control, which made him very difficult to hit. "
Ralph Kiner

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1976
Primary Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Position Played: Pitcher
Bats: Both
Throws: Right
Birth place: Springfield, Illinois
Birth year: 1926
Died: 2010, Temple Terrace, Florida
Played for:
Philadelphia Phillies (1948-1961)
Houston Astros (1965-1966)
Chicago Cubs (1966)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
676
HitsH
4582
RunsR
1962
Innings PitchedIP
4688.2
WinsW
286
LossesL
245
Winning %Winning %
.539
Games StartedGS
609
ERAERA
3.41
Complete GamesCG
305
ShutoutsSHO
45
WHIPWHIP
1.170
SavesSV
25
Earned RunsER
1774
WalksBB
902
StrikeoutsSO
2357