DAVE David Ray ROBERTS
Image of DAVE
Nickname:   DAVE Position:   MANAGER
Home: N/A Team:   DODGERS
Height: 5' 10" Bats:   L
Weight: 180 Throws:   L
DOB: 5/31/1972 Agent: John Boggs
Uniform #: N/A  
Birth City: Okinawa, Japan
Draft: 1994 - Tigers #28 - Out of UCLA
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
1994 NYP JAMESTOWN   54 178 33 52 7 2 0 12 12   29 27     .292
1995 FSL LAKELAND     357 67 108 10 5 3 30 30   39 43     .303
1996 CAL VISALIA     482 112 131 24 7 5 37 65   98 105     .272
1996 SL JACKSONVILLE     9 0 2 0 0 0 0 0   1 0     .222
1997 SL JACKSONVILLE     415 76 123 24 2 4 41 23           .296
1998 SL JACKSONVILLE     279 71 91 14 5 5 42 21   53 59     .326
1998 EL AKRON     227 49 82 10 5 7 33 28   35 30     .361
1998 IL BUFFALO     15 2 2 0 0 0 2 2   0 3     .133
1999 IL BUFFALO     350 65 95 17 10 0 38 39   43 52     .271
1999 AL INDIANS $200.00 41 143 26 34 4 0 2 12 11 3 9 16 .281 .308 .238
2000 IL BUFFALO     462 93 135 16 3 13 55 39   59 68     .292
2000 AL INDIANS   19 10 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 2 2 .333 .200 .200
2001 IL BUFFALO   62 241 34 73 12 4 0 22 17   18 44     .303
2001 AL INDIANS $212.00 15 12 3 4 1 0 0 2 0 1 1 2 .385 .417 .333
2002 NL DODGERS $218.00 127 422 63 117 14 7 3 34 45 10 48 51 .353 .365 .277
2003 NL DODGERS $400.00 107 388 56 97 6 5 2 16 40 14 43 39 .331 .307 .250
2004 AL DODGERS $975.00 68 233 45 59 4 7 2 21 33 1 28 31 .340 .356 .253
2004 AL RED SOX   45 86 19 22 10 0 2 14 5 2 10 17 .330 .442 .256
2005 NL PADRES $1,250.00 115 411 65 113 19 10 8 38 23 12 53 59 .356 .428 .275
2006 NL PADRES $2,250.00 129 499 80 146 18 13 2 44 49 6 51 61 .360 .393 .293
2007 PCL GRIZZLIES   2 7 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2   .143 .143
2007 NL GIANTS $5,000.00 114 396 61 103 17 9 2 23 31 5 42 66 .331 .364 .260
2008 PCL FRESNO   11 31 4 12 4 1 2 5 0 2 6 6   .774 .387
2008 NL GIANTS $6,500.00 52 107 18 24 2 2 0 9 5 3 20 18 .341 .280 .224
Personal
  • Roberts was the son of a U.S. Marine and a Japanese mother. He was born in Japan but lived in North San Diego County from the age of 12. In high school, he played baseball, of course. He also played quarterback on the Rancho Buena Vista High School football team.

  • He attended UCLA but continues to live close to home. He lives in nearby Carlsbad, California.

  • Dave was not drafted out of Rancho Buena Vista High School, where he was a three-sport star.

    But in 1993, the Indians drafted him following his junior season at UCLA. He opted not to sign, instead returning to school for his senior season and earned his history degree.

  • In 1995, Roberts was sixth in the Florida State League in hitting when he batted .303.

  • In 1996, he led the California League in stolen bases with 65.

  • Roberts is a leader, more by example than anything. "I think my greatest strength is that I go out there every day and put everything I have into the game," Dave said. "I leave everything on the field."

  • He has great makeup and a fine work ethic. He is one of the nicest guys in all of sports.

  • Dave said he had a problem for a couple of years with not moving up the ladder fast enough. "I saw my peers going past me and getting to the Big Leagues. I thought I was as good as they were, and it was frustrating. Finally, though, I decided to rely on my faith in God. I realized there is only so much I can do. This game is tough enough; if you worry about things out of your control, it makes matters worse."

    But realize, Roberts, a former top-notch quarterback in high school and son of a Marine, does not lay down for anyone. "I want to play in the big leagues as much as the next guy. But baseball needs to be put in perspective. It's not going to eat me up."

  • In 1999, he played for Team USA in the Pan Am Games.
  • Growing up in a military family, it was difficult to put down roots. That probably helped him in the transient world of minor league baseball.
  • He was born of a black American father and a Japanese mother. Dave says one of his biggets regrets is that he didn't learn to speak Japanese as a child despite the encouragement of him mother. He did, however, specialize in the study of his African-American roots at UCLA. "I'm a mix of many backgrounds, which is what led to my majoring in history," Roberts said.
  • His wife's name is Tricia. They celebrated the birth of daughter Emerson Tyler, September 19, 2004. They also have a son, Cole.
  • During one of his short stays with the Indians, he played solid defense, created some havoc on the base paths, and his hard-nosed style of play endeared him to Indian fans, who considered Roberts such a mirror image of Kenny Lofton that they started calling him "Lenny Clofton." Roberts was flattered. "I've had a couple of different nicknames," he said. "But anytime you can be compared to a perennial all-star, it's a compliment."
  • Roberts is very giving, and always has been. In 2003, he donated $500 for every stolen base to high school sports programs in the Southern California and San Diego areas. "Sometimes older kids slip through the cracks," said Roberts. "People worry about young kids and the ill, rightfully so, but older kids can get forgotten. With the budget cuts in California, sports won't get the funding they need."
  • Roberts has wanted to give back even before he had anything to give back. "I remember when I was 10, watching football games with my Dad, seeing those United Way commercials and thinking that one day I want to do that," he said.
  • During the off-season before 2004 spring training, Roberts focused on flexibility and being limber, as opposed to strength. "I stretched every day," Dave said. "I did a lot more yoga and pilates. The whole program is to keep me on the field—that's the bottom line. I know I can help the ballclub if I'm on the field." Roberts shared a private yoga instructor with Shawn Green during the winter.

    "I always said I would never do something like that, but you have to go with what works," Roberts said. "The idea behind it makes sense. Shawn was talking to me about it and the more I heard, the more I wanted to try. It takes a lot of focus and concentration. The benefits definitely have shown up already. My body is looser, more flexible. When I warm up, I'm not as tight. It's all part of making sure I will be on the field."

    PART OF RED SOX MIRACLE COMEBACK

  • Near the end of Roberts' three-month stay in Boston, Roberts became a major player in the end of "The Curse."

    With Boston down by a run and an out away from being swept out of the American League Championship Series by the Yankees, Roberts was sent in as a pinch runner at first base. He immediately stole second off closer Mariano Rivera and moments later scored the tying run.

    Roberts' steal is credited with triggering the reversal of history. Boston won that game—and the seven after that— sweeping away the Yankees and Cardinals on their way to their first World Series title since World War I. Roberts "stole the curse" and became a hero in Boston.

  • David says the truest sign of success is happiness.

  • Roberts likes to play golf and watch movies. He has two SUVs.

  • Dave's Favorites: Actor/Actress: Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts; Movie: "Glory." TV Show: MTV Cribs; Music: R&B and Hip-Hop; Food: Mexican; sports team (other than baseball) San Diego Chargers.

  • Roberts says he learned more about the game from Robbie Alomar than probably anyone else.

  • June 2008: While recovering from knee surgery, Roberts has taken on the role of mentor to the young Giants players. Sometimes his lessons offer long-term help, like reminding young infielders of the importance of anticipating certain game situations. Frequently, he'll offer advice about the habits of opposing pitchers to help his teammates be successful at the plate.  The veteran Roberts is only too happy to share what he can.

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 1994: The Tigers drafted Roberts in the 28th round, out of UCLA.
  • June 1998: The Indians sent OF Geronimo Berroa to the Tigers for Dave and P Tim Worrell.
  • December 2001: The Dodgers sent pitchers Christian Bridenbaugh and Nial Hughes to the Indians to acquire Dave.
  • January 2004: The one-year contract Dave signed with the Dodgers was for $975,000 with another $175,000 in performance incentives.
  • July 31, 2004: The Red Sox sent OF Henri Stanley to the Dodgers, acquiring Roberts.

  • December 20, 2004: The Padres sent OF Jay Payton to the Red Sox; acquiring Roberts, INF Ramon Vazquez, P David Pauley, and $2.65 million in cash.

    David was thrilled to be with the Padres, seeing is how he grew up in San Diego as a fan of theirs. "You don't think life can get any better (than winning the World Series with the Red Sox), and then it does," Roberts said. "Being a Padre after growing up here watching these guys my entire life, this is where I wanted to be. My hero was Tony Gwynn," said Roberts, whose agent, John Boggs, also represents Gwynn. "I remember seeing Tony Gwynn in right field and Garry Templeton at shortstop and dreaming. When my Dad was stationed in Hawaii, I watched the Islanders when they were the Padres' Triple-A team. Having the opportunity to play in San Diego is huge. It's like going full circle back to my childhood dreams."

  • December 2, 2006: Roberts signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Giants.

  • March 5, 2009: The Giants released Roberts.

Batting
  • Roberts will bunt if the game dictates it. In other situations, he will swing and try to hit the ball into the gap.
  • He is a fine leadoff hitter and the type of guy you want on a team. He works counts well. "Being a leadoff hitter, it's not just about getting hits, it's about getting on base. And sometimes if you don't get on, it's about seeing a lot of pitches so your teammates get a feel for what the pitcher is throwing. I just have to play my game," Dave said.
  • Roberts now works pitchers into hitter's counts. Then he puts the ball in play.

  • Dave had a 22-game hitting streak with Akron (EL-Indians), which ended August 5, 1998.
  • Roberts got off to a slow start in 2002 with the Dodgers. That is because he was trying to be the perfect leadoff man and got away from the way HE plays the game. He was not successful choking up and slap-hitting. He is better when he hits the ball with authority. He still bunts sometimes, but picks spots. He also tried to work every count, something he has pledged not to do because pitchers were getting ahead of him too easily.

    It wasn't long before Dave got it going, hitting .302 before the All Star break in 2002, then tailed off in September, when he hit only .220. His on-base percentage for the season was .353, which was eighth in the NL among leadoff hitters.

  • In 2003, Dave really turned the bunt hit into an art form, further refining his game. He also is running the bases more effectively than before. He has more understanding and confidence of what his game is all about. And he knows the opponent better.

  • Roberts is an outstanding base runner and one of the fastest players in the game. And he runs the bases aggressively.
  • In 2002, Dave worked with Maury Wills, the superstar stolen base king of the 1960s. Roberts said, "Getting a chance to work with Maury was like a dream come true." Wills said, "I finally have a protege."

    Student and teacher got along fabulously, having sessions from January through the very end of the 2002 season. Maury had tried to work with Tom Goodwin, but Goodwin never really listened. Roberts responded to Wills, hanging on his every word. Dave even requested, and was granted, Maury's old uniform #30, which nearly made Wills cry.

  • Dave not only picked up Maury Wills' technique, but some of his brashness on the bases too.

  • In 2006, Roberts succeeded on 89 percent of his stolen-base attempts en route to a career-high 49 steals.

    He also reached base in 36 percent of his plate appearances. And he tied Tony Gwynn's Padres franchise record for triples with 13.

  • Entering the 2009 season, Dave had a .266 career batting average. He had stolen 243 bases in 2,707 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Roberts used his excellent speed to track down gap shots in the outfield. He took good routes to the ball.

  • He was a very good center fielder. But his arm was weak.

    MANAGERIAL TRAITS

  • Game time was nearing for a September 2017 game, but Roberts has yet to have an individual conversation with every player on his team. It's something he does before each game.

    "As a player, I remember the coaches and manager who made a point to connect with me," Dave said. "And, I remember the ones who didn't."

    Roberts says he never gets tired of winning. When he was 15 or 16 years old, he played on a team that lost 58 of 60 games. (Tim Keown - ESPN the Magazine - 10/02/2017)

Running

            POST-PLAYING CAREER POSITIONS

  • April 2009: Roberts did some color and analyst broadcast work for the Giants and the Padres.
  • 2010: The Padres hired Dave as a special assistant to the team's Baseball Operations Department. He works with the organization's outfielder.
  • October 7, 2010: The Padres named Roberts their First Base Coach.

  • 2014: Dave was moved to Bench Coach for the Padres and manager Bud Black. (Rick Renteria, the former San Diego Bench Coach, had been hired by the Cubs as Manager.)

  • June 15, 2015: When Bud Black was let go as Padres manager, Roberts took over for the interim.

  • November 23, 2015: Roberts was named Manager of the Dodgers. He received a three-year contract.

  • November 15, 2016: Roberts was named the NL Manager of the year by the BWAA.

  • March 3, 2017: There are few active figures in baseball more representative of the diversity sought by Jackie Robinson than Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Roberts, who is of Japanese and African-American descent, walked through the door opened by Robinson's breaking of baseball's color barrier in 1947, putting together a 10-year Major League career and eventually taking his current position. He is the first African-American manager of the Dodgers and joined Don Wakamatsu as the only two Japanese managers in Major League history.

    In an event with children from elementary schools throughout Glendale, Ariz., at the Dodgers' Spring Training complex at Camelback Ranch, Roberts sought to echo the legacy of Robinsonperhaps the most notable figure in the history of the franchise.

    "He paved the way for all of us," Roberts said. "[His teammates] used to talk about what Jackie went through. A lot of times, what Jackie did was, beyond being a great baseball player, he was a guy who was just so tough."

    The event is part of a series of meetings the Dodgers are having, as the club will host 500 underserved students from Glendale Elementary School District and other community organizations. The event is put together by Kids 4 Dodger Baseball, which is in its fourth season of putting together similar events during the regular season.

    The kids were given the full Spring Training experience and a history lesson all in one, hearing the words of Barack Obama and Robinson's widow, Rachel, over a series of videos that expressed Robinson's impact both in baseball and American society. They then heard from Roberts, who held a special Q&A session with the group of students before they attended that day's game.

    On the final day of the event, preselected groups of youth players will take part in a special baseball clinic led by Dodgers Minor Leaguers. (F Ardaya - MLB.com - March, 2017)

  • March 17, 2017: Waymon Roberts, father of Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, died at the age of 68. 

    Waymon Roberts was a retired Marine. An African-American married to a Japanese woman, Eiko, Waymon was stationed in Okinawa when Dave Roberts was born in 1972. While in the military, Waymon Roberts also was stationed in California, North Carolina, and Hawaii. He retired a master gunnery sergeant. When Roberts was named the first African-American manager in the history of the Dodgers in 2015,

    Waymon Roberts discussed how his son was raised.

    "We didn't talk race and we didn't talk racism, either," Waymon Roberts said, according to the San Diego Union Tribune. "We are who we are. That was one of our philosophies as a family. We have no choice where we're going, but we have a choice about what we do when we get there."

    That day at Dodger Stadium, Waymon, a native of Houston, was asked about the significance of his son's hiring.

    "I asked him about that just before he was hired," he said. "It initially didn't register that it was such a big deal." (K Gurnick - MLB.com - March 17, 2017)

  • Nov 7, 2018: The Dodgers exercised the 2019 option on manager Roberts , but will continue working toward a multi-year agreement, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said at the General Managers Meetings.

  • Dec 3, 2018:  Roberts inked a four-year extension that runs through 2022, the Dodgers announced, adding three years onto the contract he was already guaranteed.
Career Injury Report
  • 1994: Before being picked in the 28th round of the draft, Roberts had shoulder surgery, bringing up questions about his ability to throw.
  • 2001: Dave missed most of the season after arthroscopic surgery for a torn labrum in his left (throwing) shoulder in January. 
  • May 17-31, 2003: Roberts was on the D.L. with a strained right hamstring.
  • July 2-26, 2003: Dave was on the D.L. with a strained right hamstring.
  • May 7-28, 2004: Roberts was on the D.L. with a right hamstring injury.
  • March 29, 2005: Dave started the season on the D.L. after having injured his left groin on March 11.
  • June 18-July 5, 2006: Roberts was on the D.L. with a deep knee bruise he suffered when he slammed against a concrete wall in pursuit of a fly ball. There was no major damage to ligaments, tendons or cartilage, but he missed over a month.
  • May 10-June 9, 2007: Bone spurs in his left elbow were causing Dave a lot of pain, sidelining for a couple of games at a time. He finally went on the D.L. and underwent arthroscopic surgery on May 11 to remove the bone spurs and bone chips.
  • August 9, 2007: Roberts strained the popliteus muscle in his right knee when he collided with the catcher's knee guard in an attempt to steal home. The popliteus is a small muscle in the back of the knee. Dave only missed a few games.
  • March 15, 2008: Manager Bruce Bochy rested Roberts for a few games, because his left knee was inflamed.

    April 8, 2008: Roberts went on the D.L. with inflammation in his left knee.

  • April 8-July 22, 2008: Roberts was on the 15-day disabled list. He had received "multiple cortisone shots" and anti-inflammatory treatments, besides periodic rests, in efforts to improve his knee. It was quickly determined that Dave would require knee surgery, keeping him out of action for a couple of months. Roberts had a torn meniscus in his knee and a case of chondromalacia, commonly known as "runner's knee," a degenerative condition of the cartilage surface in the back of the kneecap. That has caused Roberts' knee to swell regularly since Spring Training. Roberts consulted with Giants team orthopedist Dr. Ken Akizuki, who advised the 35-year-old that surgery wouldn't be a simple procedure. 

    April 12, 2008: Roberts had knee surgery to clean out cartilage behind his kneecap caused by arthritis.  The procedure took less than an hour. Roberts will be on crutches for the foreseeable future. If his rehab goes according to plan, Roberts will start a Minor League rehab assignment in two months.

  • May 3, 2010: Roberts revealed he had undergone two rounds of chemotherapy to combat Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was diagnosed in March 2010.

    Hodgkin's lymphoma is a cancer of the lymphatic system, which is part of the immune system. As it progresses, it compromises the body's ability to fight infection. It's one of two common types of cancers of the lymphatic system. (The other type, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is far more common.)