Former Phillies’ pitcher Robin Roberts, who also played for the Astros, the Orioles and the Cubs, died of natural causes today at the age of 83.
“You don’t have to make a big study of batters beforehand,” (Roberts) told Time magazine in 1956. “When I have good stuff I throw four fastballs out of five pitches. When you take up a hitter in a clubhouse meeting, no matter what his weakness is, it’s going to end up low and away or high and tight, and the curveball must be thrown below the belt. That’s the whole story of pitching. Keep your life and your pitching real simple and you’ll get along.”
Roberts hit the majors in 1948, and in 1950, he helped the Phillies win their first National League pennant in 35 years. (The team was nicknamed the Whiz Kids because they were cumulatively very young.) Roberts was sold to the Yankees in 1961, and in 1962, the Phillies announced that his number, 36, would be retired by the team. He was only the second player (after Babe Ruth) to have a number retired while he was still active. For the rest of the season, the Phillies will wear commemorative #36 patches on their uniforms and display his jersey in dugouts during games.