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Roberts made two important ones at Rancho Buena Vista High. "I used to waitress at a restaurant," she says, "and Dave would come in to eat so that we could spend some time together.
He'd save his money so that he could leave me a big tip."And because Dave was also an option quarterback, a point guard and an outfielder in San Diego's very competitive sports environment, he had to choose a sport after college.
The bridge crosses the Allegheny River, which passes through New York State just below Jamestown, which is where Roberts got his professional start in 1994."We were a Detroit farm team," he says, "but that's where I first learned the Dodger Way.
Our manager was Dave Anderson, the former Dodger shortstop. I found out I could actually play professional baseball."As for the drenching, well, what's a little rain when you've defied the odds, the doubters, cancer, subtle prejudice and the vicissitudes of baseball.
As for the game itself, the Dodgers staged a four-run rally in the ninth to beat the Diamondbacks 5-4 and take a 5½ -game lead in the NL West. "She says she doesn't know what she'd do if it weren't for the Dodgers."Eiko and Waymon Roberts met when he was stationed in Japan -- Naha, Okinawa, to be precise. Their family of four, including Dave and his sister Melissa, went base to base -- California, Hawaii, North Carolina, back to Japan -- until they settled in San Diego when Dave was 12.
Just a few minutes with Roberts is all you need to know he was raised well. He's about you as much as he is about himself."He's probably the best human being I've ever met," says his friend and reserve first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Or, as Rich Aurilia, his former Giant teammate and current partner in Red Stitch Wines, says, "If you don't like Dave Roberts, you'd better go look in the mirror."Growing up in a military family taught him manners and discipline; living in an interracial household broadened his worldview.
And his parents encouraged him to make his own choices.
Here and now seems like a good time and place to look back on how Dave "Doc" Roberts came to be the manager of a storied franchise in the midst of an epic season.
Not only how to play -- how you had to take on 3-0, how you had to lay down a bunt -- but also how to dress for BP and how to represent the team."My main job with Dave was to turn him into a major league outfielder. You have to set an example.'"It was in those early years in the Tigers' farm system that Roberts acquired the nickname Doc.
He didn't need much help on offense, but he couldn't throw very well, so we spent a lot of that summer long-tossing."Even then, he had great people skills. There was one time, though, that I had to fine him. The reason had nothing to do with his mental acumen, though he did have that. And that led to Hit Doctor, which was shortened to Doc.
He made the 1995 Florida State League All-Star team playing for Anderson at Class A Lakeland, but the next season, the Tigers sent him to another Class A team, the Visalia Oaks, a co-op team in the California League for marginal prospects. Fortunately, Waymon convinced him to stick with it.
"My dad said, 'Keep trying to play.' The main reason I decided to continue was because I was going to be close to home... That was a pivotal year for me."But the Tigers still didn't consider him much of a prospect.