Roberts’ Diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma


Before Monday night’s contest with the Los Angeles Angels, the word came out that former Sox outfielder Dave Roberts  had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. First and foremost, my thoughts and prayers are with Dave and his family during this difficult period. Roberts ran himself into the hearts of Boston fans everywhere after his miraculous stolen base in game 4 of the 2004 ALDS, arguably the greatest moment in Red Sox history. A moment that will be replayed thousands of times for generations to come.

With the Red Sox down 3-0 in the series to the evil empire, the Sox looked to mount a comeback and do the impossible. Dave Roberts pinch-ran for Trot Nixon and everyone at Fenway and across the country knew Roberts was going to steal second, it was just a matter of when. With millions of eyes watching, Roberts took off and slid into second just before Derek Jeter could apply the tag, setting up Orlando Cabrera to hit the game-tying RBI single off of Mariano Rivera. The rest is history, as Ortiz became the hero and the Sox pulled off the most unlikely of comebacks and went on to break an 86-year curse.

Most importantly, Dave Roberts is a genuine, hard-working and honest guy. He embraced his role with the Red Sox, even though it forced him to spend most of the time on the bench waiting for his opportunity. In his brief stint as a Red Sox color-commentator in Jerry Remy’s absence last season, we got to see Roberts fun-loving and humble personality. He is an admirable and rare professional baseball player and an honorable human being.

Optimism and selflessness have always been Roberts strong suit and this situation is no exception. During a press conference on Monday, Roberts said “I expect to beat this and be fully recovered.” When speaking about the discovery of his lump, Roberts said, “It was a challenge. I had to kind of balance it and try not to do too much throughout spring training. But you know what? I wanted to continue with spring training and help this organization [San Diego Padres] any way I could. Also, it was good for me. I didn’t want to take the focus away from the players. I wanted to make it about them.”

Fight hard, Dave. You have thousands of fans supporting you and praying for you to fully recover and get back on the field in whatever capacity you wish. You have never taken your foot off the gas, and I doubt you ever will.