A moment in Diamondbacks history that will not soon be forgotten started with a pitch by the Dodgers Javy Guerra; it ended up in the seats off the bat of Ryan Roberts. Down the stretch in the 2011 playoff run, D-Backs reliever Micah Owings gave up 5 runs in the 10th inning turning a 1-1 tie into 5 run deficit. In the bottom of the 10th after two quick outs the D-Backs rallied by putting men aboard with an infield hit, a walk, and an error, narrowing the gap to 6-3. Ryan Roberts then stepped to the plate and smacked a walk of grand slam into the 3rd row of the of the left field bleachers. Game over. A celebration ensued but not before Roberts simulated manager Kirk Gibson’s legendary fist pump.
Roberts was an 18th round draft pick in 2003 that had only 27 career MLB at bats prior to playing in 110 games for the D-Backs in 2009. Tatman has been a fan favorite ever since. His best season was in 2011, when at age 30 he scored 86 runs, had 19 HRs, and was highlighted by that dramatic home run. Less than a year after his most memorable moment as a Diamondback, he is now a Tampa Bay Ray.
It is doubtful that the D-Backs ever considered him a long term option at the hot corner but he was a fun stop gap to watch while he was there. His hustle and enthusiasm couldn’t help but wear off on his teammates. It seems unlikely that Tatman will obtain another every day third base job, but he has landed in the perfect spot for his skill set. Tampa Bay manager Joe Madden loves to move guys around the field playing them at different positions, which is perfect for a guy who has logged time this season at 2nd, 3rd, and OF.
The D-Backs have moved on after a solid few years but most fans in AZ will look back and remember the way Ryan Roberts played the game. I think those same fans will still be rooting for him and in typical Tatman fashion, he hit a HR in his 1st game as a Ray.
About the Author
Written by Chas Forsythe
Nearly everyone who lives in Arizona is from somewhere else and sports allegiances are spread across the country. It can be frustrating for a native Arizonan. I watched the birth of an NFL, MLB, & NHL team, the Suns landed here before I was even a twinkle in my parents eyes. I have a good feel for the teams and fans here, I look forward to providing my insights and would love to hear back from anyone with an opinion on Arizona sports.