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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Dave Roberts

     (Born May 31, 1972) -- Dave Roberts was one of the best base-stealers in Buffalo Bisons' history. Apparently he was taking notes while he was in town, because he'll forever be remembered for one of the most famous stolen bases in baseball history.

     Roberts was born in Okinawa, Japan, and started his professional career in Jamestown in 1994. He crawled up the minor-league ladder and arrived in Buffalo in 1998.

     Roberts' playing time with the Bisons went up in 1999. He hit .271, but his most amazing stat that season involved his feet. He was 39 for 42 in steals. The outfielder continued to display his speed in Buffalo through 2001.

     Roberts finally got a chance to play full-time in the majors in 2002 with the Dodgers, and stole more than 40 bases in both of his two full seasons for Los Angeles. In the middle of the 2004 season, Roberts was traded to the Red Sox.

     That year in the playoffs, when Boston absolutely needed to have a base stolen in Game Four of a series with New York, Roberts was ready. He swiped second base in the bottom of the ninth, and scored the tying run moments later on a single by Bill Mueller. The Red Sox went on to beat the Yankees in that game, and eventually erased a 3-0 series lead by New York. Since then, he has not had a day go by where someone hasn't thanked him for that swipe.

     Roberts finished his career with the Padres and Giants.

--- Budd Bailey

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