Many people have never heard of N.Y. Yankee pitcher David Robertson but his off the field relief efforts are becoming much more important than his role as a Major League Baseball relief pitcher. Baseball and more specifically, N.Y. Yankee enthusiasts know of David Robertson as an up and coming set up man, which means he comes in the game after the starter but before the closer, to ensure a team victory. The set up man serves as a bridge in between the starter, who may be getting tired and the closer who has a limit on his pitches, as well as ultimately being groomed to be the closer in the future himself. Mariano Rivera, who will go down as the greatest closer in the history of baseball, also started his illustrious career with the N.Y. Yankees as a set up man for then closer John Wetland. Today, Robertson is walking that same path and on top of that, he gets to learn under the great Mariano in the process. Robertson has responded this season by becoming one of the premiere relievers in baseball and being named to the 2011 All-Star game. Robertson finished the 2011 season with 100 strikeouts, becoming the first Yankee reliever to accomplish this since Rivera did it back in 1996 (9/2011).
Robertson grew up in Tuscaloosa Alabama where he ultimately went to college at the University of Alabama. On April 27, 2011 a tornado stormed right through Tuscaloosa leaving destruction and carnage in its trail. The 1.5 mile wide tornado caused 47 deaths and over 1000 injuries as well as leaving thousands more without housing and electricity. The New York Yankees organization contributed $500,000 to the American Red Cross and Salvation Army to help with aid but Robertson felt he had to do even more to help. David and his wife Erin started a foundation called “High Socks for Hope” to help victims from Tuscaloosa in the wake of this horrific event. Robertson has agreed to donate $100 for each strikeout he records this season and has received many donations since announcing his cause (5/2011). The money that Robertson’s’ foundation generates has lead to many houses being built and multiple families getting back on their feet. This type of relief effort can’t be quantified in numbers but the people of Tuscaloosa understand who their MVP really is.
Ehalt, Matt (September 29, 2011). "Robertson ready for the eighth inning". ESPN. Retrieved on 10/5/2011 from www.espn.go.com/robertson.
Hoch, B. (May 27, 2011). "Robertson pledges aid to ravaged hometown | yankees.com: News". Retrieved on 10/5/2011 from www.MLB.com/yankees.