PHOENIX, AZ. — I was fortunate enough to be able to catch up with former Trenton Thunder relief pitcher David Robertson in the American League clubhouse prior to the first All-Star Game of his big league career.
Robertson pitched in a total of 11 games for the Thunder between 2007 and 2008, and he allowed just three earned runs in 22/3 innings pitched. Ultimately, he pitched in just 82 games in the minors, and for good reason: He posted a 1.30 ERA and struck out 215 batters in 152 2/3 minor league innings.
Robertson, who is still raising money for those affected by the tornadoes in his hometown of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was kind enough to give me a few minutes of his time:
MA: So what does it mean to you to get an opportunity to play in your first big league All-Star Game?
Robertson: “This means everything. This is something that I really wanted to do, I really wanted to make this team. I just feel like it’s something really special. You look at games past, and you see guys like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez playing in these games and all the other great players in the American League. I just really wanted to be a part of this and be able to call myself an All-Star.”
MA: What has this experience been like so far?
Robertson: “It’s been amazing, it’s been great. Everything’s been really fun here in Phoenix. My wife and I are having a great time and we just had a good little parade that was a lot of fun. But I’m really looking forward to the game. I got to watch the Home Run Derby and got to watch Robby Cano win it, and I couldn’t be happier for him. It was just a great experience.”
MA: What was that like to see your teammate win the derby?
Robertson: “I was sweating I wanted Robby to win so bad, and I was so pumped up for him. I thought it was just great that he won it and the way he did it in comeback fashion. It was fun.”
MA: When you’re in the minors, do you ever let yourself dream that big that maybe something like this will happen for you one day?
Robertson: “All you can do is think about moving up to the next level, you have to focus on the task at hand. For me, it was just getting the job done at one level and getting to the next. I got to the big league level, and then I wanted to solidify my spot in the bullpen. Now, I did my job well enough to make this team.”
Mike Ashmore, mashmore98 AT gmail.com // Photo of Robertson facing Brian McCann