20 January 2014

the robin roberts memorial patch

on may 6, 2010, hall of fame pitcher robin roberts passed away due to natural causes.  he was 83.  the phillies, his primary team during his 19 year career, subsequently wore a memorial patch with his number 36 on their right sleeves.  here's joe blanton's 2011 topps card as an example
and here is chase utley's 2011 topps 60 insert with the patch visible as well.
the card in my memorials binder, however, is this 2011 topps chrome carlos ruiz card
roberts was a member of the 'whiz kids' - the 1950 phillies team that captured the national league pennant but lost to the yankees in the world series.  that was the only postseason appearance of roberts' career (which also included time with the orioles, astros, and cubs; plus a 'zero year' appearance with the yankees) although he was the most successful pitcher in the national league during the first part of the 1950's.  he won 20 or more games in each season from 1950 through 1955, plus 19 more in 1956 while playing for some fairly bad teams.  he finished his career with 286 wins while leading the league in wins four years in a row and twice in strikeouts.  roberts just missed the pitching triple crown in 1953 by finishing second in era to warren spahn.

roberts' contract was purchased by the yankees following the 1961 season, and the phillies retired his uniform number in 1962, even though roberts was still active until the end of the 1966 season and even attempted a comeback with the team in 1967.  actually, it appears that the team may have waited a bit longer to retire the number (did they do as the dodgers and wait for cooperstown to call?), as baseball reference shows a player wearing 36 for the phillies in 1972, four years before roberts was enshrined in the hall of fame.

1 comment:

deal said...

Great Posting, thanks.

I like Memorial Patch cards regardless of the teams, great to see someone else covering the Phillies.

I am not sure how things were done in the 1960s, but the current Phillies regime doesn't retire numbers of players not yet in the Hall of Fame.