Robin Roberts, 1926 – 2010.
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Cardieri said he roomed with Roberts when the team traveled and remembers fondly not only the long conversations where the younger Cardieri learned a lot about baseball, but of enjoying Roberts’ large repertoire of stories from his playing days which included parts for such as Satchel Paige, Yogi Berra, and other household names from fifties and sixties baseball.
“The stories were so good, and Robin was so good at telling them, that you enjoyed them the tenth time you heard them as much as you did the first,” Cardieri said. “I’m blessed for having been able to work with him. He was always a gentleman. Just a fine human being.”
You’ll get no argument on this from Wally Meyer, pastor at Christ Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, where Roberts was a regular attendee.
“He was generous to the church and to others,” Meyer told me. “He was humble, and always patient when people would ask him for autographs, even when he knew they were sending them to E-Bay. He was a joy to know.”
Meyer also liked Roberts’ baseball stories, including the one about the rookie Lou Piniella who was sent up to pinch-hit for Roberts (who wasn’t a bad hitter for a pitcher). Piniella grounded out to shortstop. Later in the clubhouse the by then venerable Roberts joshed the rookie, saying, “I could have done that.”
Those who knew him will tell you that, taken all around, Robin Roberts was a Hall of Famer as a man as well as a pitcher. His long and productive life was more than a quality start. It was a very complete game. He will be missed.
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