Historical Hitter

Historical Hitter August 30 1921: Dave Robertson

David Aydelotte RobertsonFor this year, NC State had two players drafted in the first round, Carlos Rondo and Trea Turner. With such success by the Wolfpack in the draft, the question of who was the first NC State baseball player to play in the Majors? It’s David Aydelotte Robertson, NC State, 1912.

August 30 also saw two triple plays, both by teams that lost their games. The Braves lost the game 6 to 4 to the Reds but in the sixth inning turned their triple play with Ford Barbare, Nicholson, Boeckel and O’Neil. The third out was catching a runner between 3rd base and home. The Cubs also lost to the Giants 5-3, the Cubs triple play was performed by Hollocher, Terry, and Grimes. It was a line drive when the Giants were trying to execute a hit and run.

On this day in 1921, backup outfielder Dave Robertson hit for the cycle as a member of the Pirates. 1921 was his eighth season of a nine year career and no doubt this was his career best day. As a long time NY Giant, Robertson probably found hitting the cycle against the Robins of Brooklyn a rewarding experience. Robertson batted fifth went 4 for 5 with 3 RBI, which were part of a Pirate mauling the of these little Robins, 8 to 2. The Pirates ended up finishing second in the NL that year going 90-63, just 4 GB. The old Washington Star reported:

“Robertson was the clubbing star with a homer, triple, double and single in five times at bat”

Hitting this cycle was quite a remarkable feat as Robertson had only 55 at bats in August, it was his most productive month he hit two triples and 4 HR and batted .415. He did not hit Brooklyn pitchers well, and had a season average of .229 with one double and one triple two homers and only 5 RBI.

Robertson’s most successful seasons were with the Giants from 1914-1917, the heart of the dead ball era. In 1916 and 1917 Robertson lead the National League in home runs with 12 dingers. He was famously fined by the over-bearing genius John McGraw for missing a bunt sign in a game of 1915. Robertson ended up hitting a home run instead.

“McGraw fined me for disobeying orders.”

Although he was a member of the Giants in 1912 he played in just three games getting a hit. After the season he was re-assigned to Mobile for 1913 where he proved himself more than capable by hitting 11 HR and batting .335. Robertson did not get chosen to join the Giants on their 13-14 World Tour, but he did make the club in 1914 and by 1915 he was a starting right fielder. After WWI he was traded to the Cubs and had a fine 1920, he was traded to the Bucs midseason 1921 and finished out the season. Despite hitting for the cycle in August he was released by the Pirates at the end of the 1921 season. He finished up where he started signing with the Giants for his final season of 1922.

Here is the play-by-play highlights taken from Retrosheet.com.

  • Pirates 2nd Inning: Flys out to center
  • Pirates 3rd Inning: Hits a two-run homer
  • Pirates 5th Inning: Hits a double
  • Pirates 7th Inning: Hits a single
  • Pirates 8th Inning: Hits the Triple


Evening Star, August 31, 1921 Page 26-27; http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1921-08-31/ed-1/seq-27/




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