This is going to be my one of final articles here on Bleacher Report. I can honestly say that I enjoyed writing on this site. Now, I could write something narcissistic about how Bleacher Report has changed my life...but I am not.
Bleacher Report has changed my life. I have become a Sports writer and now I am the Sports Editor for Temple University Ambler Campus' student-run newspaper my time here on "the Report" writing about the Phillies and Temple University Athletics. But it really hasn't changed my life that much or to that extent.
The real reason I writing this is to pay tribute to Robin Roberts, the Hall of Fame pitcher who passed away yesterday. Another baseball legend has passed away.
Hall of Fame pitcher, Robin Roberts passed away at the age of 83. He was a huge cog in rotation of the 1950's Philadelphia Phillies, which received the moniker known as "The Whiz Kids."
Roberts is considered to be the greatest right-handed pitcher in the history of the Philadelphia Phillies franchise. Even greater than Grover Cleveland "Ol' Pete" Alexander.
Roberts started his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1948 at the age of 21. Two years later, he and National League MVP Jim Konstanty lead the Phillies back to the World Series for the first time since 1915.
Roberts even pitched a Complete Game, 10 inning loss in Game 2, with the lone run coming off of a Joe DiMaggio home run.
I could go on and on about his career. Here are some highlights:
* He is second on the Philadelphia Phillies Franchise in Wins with 234. The only one with more wins with he Phillies is left-hander Steve Carlton.
*He is second on the Phillies Franchise All-Time strikeout leaders with 1871.
*Ranks first on the Phillies Franchise leaders for Complete Games with 272.
* Pitched 28 consecutive complete games.
* Won at least 20 games from 1950-55.
* He was 286-245 with 2,357 strikeouts, a 3.41 ERA, 305 complete games, 45 shutouts, and 4,688⅔ innings pitched in 676 games.
* Pitched a Complete Game, 10 Inning Loss in Game 2 of the 1950 World Series.
* He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1976.
* His number is retired at Citizens Bank Park and he has a statue on the first base side of the stadium.
That's just a snippet of his legendary career. I have heard stories from my dad who got to meet him growing up in Germantown in Philadelphia.
My dad told me that Roberts used to do clinics at Germantown Boys Club. My dad said that meeting Roberts was one of the highlights of growing up.
A few years ago in 2006, I even got to meet Mr. Roberts. He was one of the coolest, most awesome, kindest and down-to-earth people I ever got to meet.
I got shake his hand and I got a baseball signed by him. I can truly admit that getting to meet him had an impact on my life.
I even got to have a little bit of a chat with him about pitching. I modeled my pitching mechanics off of his and a little bit of Roy Halladay's as well.
He showed me a few different kinds of grips on the ball. It was truly one of the high points in my life that year when it had very few high points.
Robin Roberts was truly the complete package as a pitcher and as a man. He was never one to build himself up at the expense of others. Robin Roberts was one of the last true workhorse pitchers. In fact, he was gamer; he never liked to lose.
Roberts even called up the people at the Hall of Fame to change something on his Hall of Fame plaque. It referred to the 286 games he won, most of which were with the Philadelphia Phillies, and pitching for primarily "second-division" teams. His plaque now refers to a "tireless worker who never missed a start in the decade of the Fifties."
So looking at that same autographed baseball that he signed, even though it's in a case, it's ink is starting to bleed. I can tell my future kids and grandchildren, that I got to meet a Hall of Fame pitcher... no person ...with my dad.
"His attitude was, 'Give me the ball, we've got to win.' There was no such thing as a pitch count or a quality start. You either won or you lost. He was the best in the league, so there was no sense in throwing anybody else. He was the best competitor I've ever known. He'd sit on the bench during a game and never talk to anybody. It was total concentration all the time ." --Bob Miller