April 1, 1959:
For a few days during Spring Training 1959, famed photographer Marvin E. Newman profiled the Phillies for Sports Illustrated. Amongst the few shots that have surfaced from this session, Robin Roberts is the focal point, and on what would have been Roberts’ 87th birthday, they are presented here. Though the poses are typical, the vivid color and detail make these essential viewing for any Phillies fan.
Photos: Marvin E. Newman
August 16, 1953:
At the height of his powers, Robin Roberts was a prototypical power pitcher. Using the technique know as “drop and drive”, Roberts relied on a long stride and lower body strength to propel his blazing fastball. Though the Phillies’ ace used these mechanics on his way to becoming one of the most dominant pitchers of his era, the drop and drive is now largely frowned upon by coaches at every level, claiming it leaves pitchers vulnerable to upper body injury. Unlike most drop and drive pitchers, Roberts maintained a fluid delivery with little wasted motion.
Having finished with 28 wins in 1952, Roberts’ 1953 campaign received increased media attention as he seemed on pace to eclipse the 30 win mark. Unfortunately, a poor September prevented this, though he finished with a tremendous 23-16 record.
PHOTO: United Press Photo
Robin Roberts’ Drop and Drive Delivery