Roberts voted into San Diego Hall of Fame

Notes on Kemp, Edwards, Ross, Spangenberg

Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.

His famous "stealing shoes" are in baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Now Padres bench coach and former player Dave Roberts is going into the San Diego Hall of Fame. The announcement was made Tuesday, with Roberts' formal induction scheduled next February during the annual Salute to the Champions dinner at the Hall of Champions in Balboa Park.

"This is such a special honor for me," Roberts said Tuesday.

"I grew up following the careers of athletes in the San Diego Hall of Fame," he said. "For me, for my friends and family … for me to now be selected for inclusion into that very elite circle means more than I can explain. It's more than a little overwhelming."

Roberts will be inducted along with former boxing champion Paul Vaden and Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ricky Williams.

Roberts is being recognized for a career that produced honors at three levels -- high school, college and professionally.

Roberts, 42, was a two-sport standout at Rancho Buena Vista High and quarterbacked the school to two CIF football titles as well as winning all-CIF honors in baseball. At UCLA, he was a three-time all-Pac-12 selection as a left fielder and held the Bruins' all-time record for steals.

Roberts spent parts of 10 seasons in the Major Leagues as an outfielder with five teams, including a two-season stint with his hometown Padres in 2005-06.

He batted .285 over two seasons with the Padres, including a career-high .293 in 2006, when he tied Tony Gwynn's single-season franchise record with 13 triples. Roberts had 72 steals with the Padres, including 49 in '06, when he also scored a career-high 80 runs.

Roberts retired after the 2008 season with a .266 career batting average and a .342 on-base percentage, plus 23 home runs, 213 RBIs and 243 steals.

But he is best remembered for a single steal during the 2004 American League Championship Series. With the Red Sox on the brink of elimination, Roberts stole second in the ninth inning against the Yankees and moments later scored the tying run. The Red Sox won that game as the first of eight straight while winning the World Series.

The cleats that Roberts wore to steal second in that come-from-behind win over the Yankees have become part of the Baseball Hall of Fame collection.

Roberts rejoined the Padres in 2010 and served one year as a special assistant to baseball operations before returning to uniform in '11 as the Padres' first-base coach. He moved into his current role as the Padres' bench coach before the 2014 season.

From the scorecard

• For the 19th time in franchise history, the Padres have a 100-RBI player. Matt Kemp reached that plateau Tuesday night with a third-inning single, then left the game before his next at-bat with soreness in his right hand. Kemp is the 14th player to have a 100-RBI season for the Padres and the first since Chase Headley in 2012. Of his sore hand, Kemp said: "The other day, when I was swinging, it started irritating me. Every time I swing I feel a little pain. I wanted to go on." Of his 100 RBIs, Kemp said: "I'd rather have 80 RBIs and go to the playoffs."

• Since being promoted from Triple-A El Paso on Sept. 2, right-handed reliever Jon Edwards has a 0.93 ERA in 10 appearances. Over his last nine appearances, Edwards has allowed no runs on no hits with six walks and 13 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. Edwards, who was acquired from the Rangers in the Aug. 18 trade for outfielder Will Venable, struck out the side in a perfect ninth inning against the Brewers on Tuesday night.

Tyson Ross struck out seven in six innings Tuesday night to finish with 212 strikeouts in 196 innings. That is the second-highest total on the Padres, the sixth-highest in the National League and the seventh-highest single-season total in Padres history. Ross finished the season with a 3.26 ERA that was the lowest among all Padres starting pitchers.

Cory Spangenberg, who returned to second base Tuesday with Yangervis Solarte back at third, was 2-for-4 with a triple against the Brewers. He is hitting .292 (33-for-113) since coming off the disabled list on Aug. 24, with nine doubles, three triples, two home runs, nine RBIs and 16 runs.