Phillies to pay tribute to Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts

By CHRIS DiFRANCESCO
Columnist — cdifrancesco@highhopesblog.com
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PHILADELPHIA- The Phillies released information regarding how they will go about honoring the greatest right-handed pitcher in the franchise’s history Thursday afternoon. Robin Roberts passed away this morning in his home in Temple Terrance, Fla. He was 83.

Roberts’ #36 jersey will hang in the Phillies dugout beginning today and will remain throughout the season, both at home and on the road. The Phils did the same thing for the late Harry Kalas last season.

Beginning with tomorrow’s game, the players will wear #36 on the right sleeve of their jersey’s throughout the remainder of the season.

The 1950 pennant banner will be hung at half-mast.  A black drape will be hung on Roberts’ Wall of Fame plaque in Ashburn Alley and the same with Roberts’ oil painting located inside the hall-of-fame club.

Finally, the Roberts statue at the First Base Gate will have a wreath place on it.

“Dad didn’t miss a Phillies game on television, including [Wednesday] night,” said his son, Jim. “He really loved this team and was so thrilled that he was included in the World Series festivities the last two years.

“He’d sit there and would comment, ‘Did you see Jimmy make that play? … Chase can really play this game … My man Jayson is some kind of an athlete … Did you see that change-up from Cole? … How strong is Ryan? … Roy makes pitching look so easy and it isn’t … I wish I had Brad’s slider … Shane can fly, can’t he?”

Roberts pitched for 19 big league seasons, the first 14 were with the Phillies (1948-61). His record with the Phillies is 234-199, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976 and returned every year for the annual ceremonies.

Roberts was the leader of the 1950 Pennant winning ‘Whiz Kids.’ Between 1950 and 1955 Roberts won 20 games each season, leading the NL in victories from 1952 to 1955. Six times he led the league in games started, five times in complete games and innings pitched, and once pitched 28 complete games in a row. In 1952, his 28 wins were the most since 1935, and earned him the Sporting News Player of the Year award.

Roberts’ was a 7x All-Star (1950-56) and a 2x NL Pitcher of the Year (1952, 1955).

“On behalf of Major League Baseball, I am deeply saddened by the loss of Robin Roberts,” Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. “Robin was one of the most consistent, competitive and durable pitchers of his generation and a symbol of the Whiz Kids, who in 1950 brought Philadelphia its first National League pennant in 35 years.

Roberts is survived by four sons, Robin Jr., Dan, Rick and Jimmy; one brother, John; seven grandchildren and one great-grandson. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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