David Ray “Doc” Roberts (1972- )

David Ray Roberts
David Ray Roberts
U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elias Carrero (CC0)

David Ray “Doc” Roberts is a baseball manager and former outfielder. Roberts was born on May 31, 1972, to Waymon Roberts, an African American United States Marine, and Eiko Roberts, a Japanese woman in Naha, Okinawa, Japan. During his early childhood, Roberts and his family lived at military bases in Okinawa, California, North Carolina, and Hawaii before settling in San Diego, California. Roberts attended Vista High School in Vista, California, where he joined the junior varsity baseball team, becoming the most valuable player. Roberts transferred to Rancho Buena Vista High School in Vista, California, where he became a star football, baseball, and basketball player. He led the football team to the San Diego Section Class 3A Championship during his senior year and graduated from Rancho Buena Vista High School in 1990.

After graduating high school, Roberts was recruited to play quarterback for the Air Force Academy football team but declined because he wanted to play baseball. Roberts attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and joined the UCLA Bruins baseball team as a walk-on outfielder. During his sophomore year, his batting average was .331, with 36 stolen bases. His batting average was .296 the following year, with 28 stolen bases. Roberts graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor of Arts in history in 1995.

The Detroit Tigers drafted Roberts in the 28th round in the 1994 MLB Draft. In 1998, Roberts was traded to the Cleveland Indians and remained with them until the end of the 2001 season when he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. During the 2004 season, Roberts was traded to the Boston Red Sox. That season, the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series against the Saint Louis Cardinals in four games. Roberts played with the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants before retiring from baseball as a professional player in 2009.

After retiring from baseball as a player, Roberts began his coaching and managing career. He became the first base coach of the San Diego Padres during the 2010 MLB season and was later named a bench coach. The following season, Roberts was named manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. As the Dodgers manager, Roberts became National League Manager of the Year in 2016. In 2020, the Los Angeles Dodgers won the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays in six games. With the Dodgers’ win, Roberts became the second African American manager to win a World Series after Clarence Edwin “Cito” Gaston, manager of the Toronto Blue Jays (1992 and 1993), and the first manager of partial Asian heritage to win a World Series. Roberts has been married to Tricia Roberts since 1997. The couple has two children: a son named Cole and a daughter named Emme.