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Draftee, former Dirtbag starts living the dream

Relief pitcher David Roberts recalls selection, beginning of pro career

Former Dirtbags reliever David Roberts

Former Dirtbags reliever David Roberts

David Roberts, Contributing writer

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Editor’s note: David Roberts is a senior communications major who pitched for the Long Beach State Dirtbags for two seasons before being drafted in Major League Baseball’s First-Year Player Draft. Roberts was a fourth round draft pick (141st overall selection) by the Cleveland Indians.

The day had finally come: June 5, 2008. I had been waiting anxiously, pacing around my roommate Danny Espinosa’s house, waiting to have my name pop up on the board and continue with my hopes and dreams of becoming a Major League Baseball player.

That day, the Cleveland Indians decided to make me their fourth round pick and 141st player selected overall. Unfortunately the journey isn’t over, it has only just begun.

I was shipped out to Niles, Ohio to make my professional debut with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, the short-season Low-A team.

My first pro ball season was pretty rough to be honest, from all the travel and bad hotels and worse food. I was playing baseball everyday so I couldn’t complain too much, but it was much more exhausting than I thought it was going to be.

My role was the setup man and sometimes the closer for the team, just like it was when I played for the Dirtbags. Well not so much the closer, but nonetheless, I was comfortable in that role. The short season ended in early September and I was excited to get back to California and relax.

When I got back to California, I had to get ready for the fall semester of my fourth year. Little did I know it would be a lot more difficult than I thought.

I missed the first week of school and hit the ground running when I got back, but came to an abrupt halt when I got back from Goodyear, Ariz. I left to participate in the instructional league during the first three weeks of October, which is more of a camp with a few games here and there for prospects.

Balancing school and baseball has been a tough task, and I think I will steer away from it next fall. I can focus more on what my job and my passion is so I can meet the Indians’ expectations of what they have in store for me, and some of my own.

My future is uncertain with the Indians and I like it that way. What I do know is that I leave in March for my first spring training and I am looking forward to it. I have high hopes and goals and I think the Indians do, also. I’ll keep in touch as my journey to my dream continues.

4 Comments

4 Responses to “Draftee, former Dirtbag starts living the dream”

  1. anonymous on December 15th, 2008 2:17 pm

    I am so proud of you David. This is just one step closer to your dreams and you got a lot more in store for you. Keep on succeeding. I hope to see you one day on the BIG SCREEN. Good luck with everything and Strike em out!

  2. Erica McClaugherty on December 15th, 2008 5:24 pm

    David YOU ROCK!!! 🙂

  3. beetlejuice on December 15th, 2008 5:37 pm

    see you on the big show

  4. AUGT on December 29th, 2008 5:13 am

    Good story, but I’d like to see more of it. What motivated you not to continue one more full year at CSULB before going for the draft. What’s your major? Since you have no eligibility to maintain, why not take 3, 4, 5 hours this coming Fall? It will give you a good excuse to hang about the place, but not so taxing to prevent your workouts. Besides, you will be giving the gals around here something to look forward to…..!!!

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