Roberts was the Pirates' first black player. He had been a shortstop with the Negro
League Kansas City Monarchs before playing three years at Denver (Western League),
where manager Andy Cohen made him a defensive star at second base.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»April 13, 1954:
Pittsburgh opens at home for the first time in 61 years and defeats the Phils 4–2 before 32,294. Curt Roberts, the Bucs' first black player, hits a triple against Robin Roberts in the first inning.
»August 27, 1956:
Curt Roberts of Columbus (IL) hits four HRs in a row in a seven-inning game against the Havana Cubans.
»February 19, 1957: The Kansas City Athletics ship pitchers Art Ditmar, Bobby Shantz, and Jack McMahan, and infielders Clete Boyer, Curt Roberts and Wayne Belardi to the Yankees. In return they receive pitchers Maury McDermott, Tom Morgan, Gary Coleman, and Jack Urban, OF Irv Noren, plus infielders Billy Hunter and Milt Graff. Roberts didn't go to NYC till May 4, while Boyer went a month later. Hunter and Urban don't switch until April 5. The veteran Shantz and Boyer will be valuable pickups for New York, with Shantz leading the American League in ERA this year, and Boyer a tough defensive 3B for eight years in pinstripes. The A's will eventually admit that when they signed Boyer for a $40,000 bonus in 1955, it was on behalf of the Yankees, with the understanding that they'd later ship him to NY.