He received several big ovations from the crowd of 40,878 during the Orioles’ 4-2 win over the Yankees.
“My first at-bat was special for me,” Roberts said. “To be here as long as I have and to be through so many ups and downs, you don’t really know if people are just tired of you or if they really want you out there still.
“My journey, so many people can relate to. Life isn’t always easy. People want to see you fighting and trying to make the best of every day. I was very appreciative of the support.”
After playing for so many losing O’s teams, Roberts can truly appreciate what being part of a winning team means.
“It is what we all want to do,” he said. “For so long we always went into spring training believing that is what we were trying to do, but unfortunately about halfway, it didn’t look very realistic.
“It’s so different now. To be a part of a team you feel like can and will and should compete every single day and give ourselves a chance at the end of the year to do something great.
“If you are going to be out there, you want to contribute. You don’t want to be the weak link in the chain, and there are some pretty strong links in this chain.”
It was a feel good night for the O’s and Roberts as they completed their first three-game home sweep of New York since 2005, and the big crowd had several chances to roar its approval.
“It’s fun to be a part of,” Roberts said. “Fun to be back around the games. The atmosphere tonight, our city has fully embraced this team again and this organization and it’s just great to be a part of.”
Elsewhere around the Orioles clubhouse:
Chris Davis on the crowd: “Even before the game you could kind of feel the buzz in the stadium. It did have that playoff feel. The fans were really in it. It’s huge. We feed off the crowd, especially playing a team like the Yankees. They travel well, and to hear our fans drowning out their fans, it’s a good feeling.”
Davis, did sweep make a statement? “I think it’s a statement when you sweep anyone. Think it’s our first one of the year. We put a lot of emphasis on winning series, but sweeping a team in the division is huge.”
Davis, is hitting the ball to left and left-center a key to hitting so many homers? “I think so. Not getting pull happy. When I look back and think how I’ve been successful, I see a lot of balls going to left-center and I have to keep that in mind.”
Chris Tillman on getting through the tough second inning: “That was huge. Made a little adjustment there. Was off my command early, but got back on track. Wiety (Matt Wieters) did a great job mixing it up and getting me back on track. The atmosphere was great tonight, best fans in baseball and we really appreciate it.”
Nate McLouth on O’s hitting three homers off Hiroki Kuroda: “He doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, but we hit the mistakes. There are plenty of games where you miss the mistakes. You foul them off and can’t make solid contact, but we took advantage of the few mistakes he made.”