Today I post my third design in my imagined 1979 sub-set featuring #1 draft picks of the decade, 1972's #1 overall pick: Dave Roberts, after my initial designs of Mike Ivie (1970) and Danny Goodwin (1971).
Take a look at my third "card" in the set:
|The second #1 overall pick for San Diego in the 1970's.|
For the second time in the young decade (and not the last), the San Diego Padres once again had the #1 overall pick, and after picking Mike Ivie with the #1 pick in 1970, in 1972 they went with the highly touted prospect out of the University of Oregon.
In a unique situation, the Padres signed Roberts the day after the draft, and then had him appear in his first Major League game later that day!
This made Roberts the sixth player to go straight to the Majors after signing at the time.
He spent the rest of the season with the Padres, hitting a "respectable" .244 with five home runs and 33 runs batted in. Not bad when you consider he had no minor league time at all!
On top of that, the following year he had what was perhaps his best season in the Majors.
After spending some time in the Minors early in the year, Roberts was called back up to the Majors and responded by posting career highs in average (.286, home runs (21) and runs batted in (64).
But sadly for San Diego this was NOT a sign of things to come, as Roberts responded to his 1973 campaign with a horrid season in 1974.
That year, while playing games at short, third and outfield, Roberts just flopped as he hit a wretched .167 with five homers and 18 runs batted in.
His season was so bad that from July 21st until the rest of the season he batted .095 without a single run batted in!
The Padres tried getting Roberts' career restarted, but after some failed experiments at almost every position out on the field, they traded him to the Texas Rangers (after being reacquired by San Diego from the Toronto Blue Jays in February 1977) in October, 1978 along with Oscar Gamble and $300,000 for Kurt Bevacqua, Bill Fahey and Mike Hargrove.
For Roberts the change of scenery didn't help his career get back on track, and he was relegated to part-time player for the next four years, playing for Texas, Houston and Philadelphia.
After appearing in only 28 games for the Phillies in 1982, hitting .182 with two runs batted in, Roberts was out of baseball for good.
For the Padres however, things would get much better with their NEXT First Round pick in the amateur draft, as they'd go on to pick a tall, lanky kid from the University of Minnesota named Dave Winfield with the fourth overall pick in 1973.
Not a bad rebound from their bust of a pick the previous year.