A contact hitter with speed and a good glove, Dave Roberts is best known for his steal in game 4 of the 2004 AL Championship Series that brought the Red Sox back from the dead aftter 3 straight losses to the Yankees in their best of 7 series. Down 4-3 in the bottom of the 9th and facing elimination, Roberts pinch ran for Kevin Millar who walked off Mariano Rivera. After Rivera threw over to first 3 times to keep Roberts from getting a good jump, Roberts stole second base anyway on the next pitch. Bill Mueller drove in Roberts in with a single to tie the game and the Red Sox won in the 12th, their first in their march of 8 straight victories over the Yanks and Cards to win their first Series in 86 years.
Often overlooked in lists of Japanese-born ball players, Roberts was born in Okinawa to a Marine father and a Japanese mother, and was raised in San Diego.