Blue breakthrough: Roberts hired as Dodgers’ skipper

robertsThe Los Angeles Dodgers have hired the first minority manager in the baseball club’s 100-year-plus history.

Numerous media organizations are reporting that Dave Roberts – a former player for the team – has accepted the job. A formal announcement is expected today.

Roberts’ father is African American and his mother Japanese. He grew up in Japan and San Diego. His hiring comes almost 70 years after the Dodgers made Jackie Robinson the first African American player in the Major Leagues.

With no managerial experience, the 43-year-old Roberts will be responsible for guiding the most expensive group of players in baseball. He spent the past five years as a coach with the San Diego Padres.DODGERS

The speedy outfielder was a solid journeyman player, but never a star. He spent two years with the Dodgers in the early 2000s.

He’s probably best known for his exploits in Game 4 of the 2004 American League Championship Series. In the ninth inning, with his Red Sox trailing the Yankees 4-3 and facing elimination, Roberts came in as a pinch runner. He stole a base and scored the tying run. The Red Sox won the game, and then the next three, becoming the first team to overcome a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series. More importantly, they went on to win the Red Sox’s first World Series since 1918.

Roberts replaces Don Mattingly, who parted ways with the Dodgers last month in what both sides called a mutual decision. Mattingly has since signed on to manage the Miami Marlins.