Las Vegas Sun

August 27, 2014

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Top 30 Las Vegas 51s Players:

24. Bip Roberts (1987-88, ‘95)

He was one of the best base runners, hitters for average in Las Vegas history

Bip Roberts

Bip Roberts

During the 1988 season, Leon Joseph Roberts — better known as Bip — provided a glimpse of things to come when he hit .353 and stole 29 bases for the Stars, both still among the best single-season marks in team history.

Four years later, Roberts was named a National League All-Star for the Cincinnati Reds in what was arguably his best season.

Inarguably, it was his most memorable. Roberts hit a career-high .323 and swiped 44 bags for the Reds, finishing No. 8 in National League MVP voting. He put an exclamation point on the season by going 2-for-2 in his All-Star appearance.

Roberts played for six teams during his 12-year major league career, including seven years with the San Diego Padres.

Today, he’s a member of the Comcast SportsNet broadcasting team for the San Francisco Giants and also serves as an assistant baseball coach at the (we’re not making this up) Academy of Art University.

A Bay Area native, Roberts previously served as head baseball coach at his prep alma mater, Skyline High, leading the team to the Oakland Athletic League title in 2008.

Roberts hit .329 in three seasons with the Stars, good for No. 4 on the career list. His 18 triples rank him at No. 3 all-time.

Oh, and the nickname? It stems from his childhood mispronunciation of some words, including saying “bip” instead of “bit.”

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