Roberts reminisces fondly on 2004 squad

Roberts reminisces fondly on 2004 squad

BOSTON -- Dave Roberts was back in Boston on Monday, cancer-free, but once again reminded that his signature moment in a Red Sox uniform came almost seven years ago.

"God, I'm old," said Roberts, 39, and now the first-base coach for the Padres.

Again being reminded of his claim to fame during the 2004 playoffs that propelled the Red Sox to their first World Series championship in 86 years, Roberts said he loves coming back to Boston.

"From playing the big leagues and winning the World Series here, and then you get diagnosed with cancer, it's kind of a big blow to you and your family," said Roberts, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma last March. "But finishing treatment, getting clear scans today actually at Dana-Farber [Cancer Institute], that was a big day for me. I'm pretty happy to be here, and just taking every day."

While Roberts spent all of 45 games in a Boston uniform, his steal of second base in the ninth inning of Game 4 of the American League Championship Series kept the Red Sox from being swept by the Yankees, and perhaps manager Terry Francona from losing his job.

"If it wasn't for Dave, you'd be talking to somebody else," Francona said before Monday's game.

"You know what? We had a special group," Roberts said. "People always talk about the '04 team and what it meant to the people in New England and Boston. The group, we're still tight, all of us are still tight. We still reminisce about '04 and the group we had."

-- Jason Mastrodonato

Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.