Wilmington, DE -
Former Wilmington Blue Rock and baseball Hall of Famer, Robin Roberts
passed away of natural causes in his home in Temple Terrace, FL on Thursday morning. He was 83 years old.
Roberts was a member of the original Blue Rocks, which called Wilmington home from 1940-1952. He spent the first two months of the 1948 season in Delaware, going 9-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 11 games.
On June 17 of that same season Roberts broke into the big leagues, as he made his debut with the Philadelphia Phillies. Two years later he would be the ace of a staff that helped lead Philadelphia to its first National League pennant in 35 years.
Roberts spent 14 seasons with the Phillies before finishing his career with stints in Baltimore (1962-65), Houston (1965-66) and with the Chicago Cubs (1966). He had a 286-245 career record with a 3.41 ERA in 676 Major League games (609 starts).
Roberts was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976, and made it a point to return every season for the annual induction ceremonies.
In 1998, the Blue Rocks retired Roberts' No. 36 jersey before the Carolina League All-Star Game at Frawley Stadium. Only one other player, Mike Sweeney, has been so honored by the franchise.
Roberts is survived by his four sons, Robin Jr., Dan, Rick and Jimmy; his one brother, John; and his seven grandchildren.
Funerals arrangements are pending.
The Blue Rocks will honor their greatest alumnus with a moment of silence before tonight's homestand finale.