Sox playoff hero Roberts returns for Game 2
Key contributor to 2004 ALCS comeback throws out first pitch
BOSTON -- The return of former Red Sox outfielder Dave Roberts provided an emotional lift to the capacity crowd at Fenway Park prior to Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Sunday.
Roberts received a standing ovation when he walked onto the field to throw out the ceremonial first pitch to catcher David Ross. It was a fitting tribute to a player who played a big role in one of the biggest comeback stories in postseason history.
Roberts helped change the outlook of the series when he was brought in to pinch-run for Kevin Millar. Roberts promptly stole second base off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera and then came around to score on an RBI single by Bill Mueller.
Boston went on to win the game in 12 innings and stave off elimination. That was the first step in the remarkable comeback that saw the club win the next three games in their eventual run to a World Series championship.
Roberts retired from baseball following the 2008 season. He was a career .266 hitter with 243 stolen bases and 437 runs scored. The native of California is now a first-base coach with the San Diego Padres.
The pregame ceremony also included a rendition of the national anthem performed by the St. Ann's children's choir from Dorchester, Mass.