Phillies: On this date, Robin Roberts’ number was retired
On this date the Phillies unofficially retired the number of an all-time great
When it comes to retiring uniforms, the Phillies are one of the most stringent franchises in sports.
Despite playing baseball for 137 seasons, the Phillies have only retired five of their own numbers. They’ll add a sixth this season when Roy Halladay’s name is added out in Ashburn Alley.
It took the Phillies 79 years to retire a number, even if it was unofficial at the time.
On March 21, 1962 the Phillies unofficially retired number 36 in honor of Robin Roberts in Clearwater, Florida after his final season in Philadelphia. Roberts would play five more seasons for Baltimore, Houston, and the Cubs.
A seven-time All-Star in Philadelphia, Roberts retired in 1966 as the franchise’s all-time leader in wins (234) strikeouts (1871) and games started (472). Steve Carlton would surpass him in those categories, but Roberts remains second in franchise history in all three while still leading in innings pitched (3739.1), games pitched (529), complete games (272), and WAR (69.7).
Fro 1950-1955 Roberts won at least 20 games and led the league four straight years with three years of 23 wins and a career-high 28 in 1952. After that season he finished second to Hank Sauer by 11 votes in a tight three-way race with Joe Black.
Today, Roberts may have won that award thanks to an 8.6 WAR, three points higher than Sauer. The only player who received MVP votes that season with a WAR greater than 8.0 was Jackie Robinson.
In game two of the 1950 World Series against the Yankees, Roberts pitched 10 innings allowing just two runs on 10 hits with three walks and five strikeouts. The Phillies lost that game 2-1 at home and were swept by the Casey Stengel-led Yankees.
Roberts was the first inductee onto the Phillies Wall of Fame in 1978, two years after his induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Phillies made his number retirement official in 2008.
That Ball’s Outta Here named Roberts the third-greatest player in Phillies history behind Carlton and Mike Schmidt.
There will never be another workhorse pitcher in franchise history like Robin Roberts.