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Ex-Tigers pitcher Roberts dies


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Buzz up!

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- Dave Roberts, a left-handed pitcher who played for eight major league teams including the Detroit Tigers and the 1979 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, has died of lung cancer. He was 64.

Roberts' wife Carol and stepdaughter Kristy Rogan said he died at his home in Short Gap, W.Va., early Friday.

They say he developed lung cancer from asbestos exposure as a young man. During the off-seasons, he worked as a boilermaker and regularly was exposed to the cancer-causing material.

Roberts went 103-125 with a 3.78 ERA for eight teams, beginning in 1969 with the San Diego Padres and ending in 1981 with the New York Mets. He was 20-27 in 1 1/2 seasons with the Tigers (1976-77).

The Pirates got him from the Giants in a five-player trade in June 1979 that also sent Bill Madlock to Pittsburgh. Roberts went 5-2 for the Pirates and made one relief appearance in the NL championship series that season.

Roberts also played with the Chicago Cubs and Seattle. He finished second in the NL to Tom Seaver with a 2.10 ERA in 1971 for the Padres, and set career highs of 17 wins and six shutouts with Houston in 1973.

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