Profiles of Valor
Robin Evan Roberts, born on September 20, 1926, was an Army Air Force Veteran and impressive Major League pitcher.
Roberts was accepted into the Regular Air Corps in the fall of 1944 and reported to basic training at Shepherd Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas in 1945. Roberts dream of becoming a fighter pilot was cut short due to the nearing end of World War II resulting in the suspension of his flight training. Following the program suspension, he was sent to Chanute Fields, Illinois. However, after being discharged in 1945 he began his next dream of becoming an elite pitcher.
He returned to Michigan State where he established himself as a Major League Prospect. Roberts pitched for Montpelier during the summer of 1947 in the summer college circuit. From this program he attracted the attention of theBraves and the Phillies. He ultimately signed with the Phillies, igniting his successful career with them. He started pitching for Wilmington in the Interstate League in 1948 but was called up to the Phillies that June.
Making his MLB debut in 1948, he joined a core group of youth players on the Philadelphia Phillies that later became known as the “Whiz Kids”. By 1950, Roberts had secured the first of his six consecutive twenty-win seasons. He pitched for the Phillies through 1961, before being released and heading to the New York Yankees spring training. That placementwas not permanent however, and he was picked up by the Baltimore Orioles after the Yankees released him at the beginning of the season. Following his time with the Orioles, Roberts pitched for the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs before retiring in 1966.
Within his nineteen-season career, Roberts achieved six consecutive twenty-win seasons, which is one of the many reasons he had his uniform number, 36, retired and a statue placed outside the Philadelphia Phillies Citizens Bank Park.He was a seven-time All-Star and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1976.